Mount's Trapp says grit his secret for faceoffs

The Baltimore Sun

Ben Trapp doesn't claim he's the strongest or quickest faceoff specialist. Instead, the Mount St. Mary's freshman credits his prowess at the "X" to his determination.

"I just know where the ball's going to be, and I just fight for the ground ball," Trapp said. "Most of the time, I don't win it on the initial clamp, but I just fight for it afterward. ... I don't really have an advantage over the other guys."

Trapp's opinion doesn't jibe with the statistics. The Timonium native and Dulaney graduate has won 69.2 percent of his faceoffs (18 of 26) -- a success rate that is tops among faceoff specialists playing for Division I programs in Maryland with at least 20 faceoff attempts.

Trapp won five of eight faceoffs in the Mountaineers' season-opening loss to No. 5 Maryland eight days ago, but he was filling in for sophomore Kevin Walker, who had earned the start.

Trapp, who started against No. 6 Navy last Friday, won 13 of 18 faceoffs against a squad that had boasted a faceoff percentage of 62.3 (33 of 53) before that game.

Although Trapp is listed at 6 feet 1, 185 pounds, Mount St. Mary's coach Tom Gravante said he's been impressed with the mix of power and swiftness in his player's modest frame.

"He's quick and he's strong," Gravante said. "He's not as quick as [Maryland sophomore Bryn] Holmes, but he brings a little bulk. And he's just a youngster. He should get better."

Trapp, who said he aims for a success rate of better than 50 percent, cautioned he has made only one start and said he still has much to prove.

"All I can say is I'm going to go into every faceoff looking to win it," he said. "If the [opposing] guy is better, the guy's better. But I'm still going to fight for that ball."

Another Salisbury record

Salisbury's 19-3 victory over Widener on Saturday was the program's 66th consecutive regular-season win, breaking the NCAA record set by the Sea Gulls between 1992 and 1997.

"It's hard to fathom," said coach Jim Berkman, who collected his 312th win and is 14 victories away from tying retired Army coach Jack Emmer for the all-time NCAA wins record. "It's a lot of games, and it's pretty unbelievable, but it's a tribute to our program, our players and our coaches."

Salisbury hasn't dropped a regular-season game since losing to Lynchburg, 13-12, on April 10, 2003.

Ricci on a run

Loyola junior defenseman P.T. Ricci tends to get overshadowed by such teammates as senior attackman Shane Koppens, sophomore attackman Cooper MacDonnell and lately freshman goalkeeper Jake Hagelin, but his contributions have not escaped coach Charley Toomey's notice.

Ricci leads the No. 14 Greyhounds in groundballs with 23, including a game-high 10 in a 7-4 win over No. 17 Penn State Saturday. He was named Eastern College Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week.

"We knew that he was going to be a great long-pole [defenseman] for us," said Toomey, who signed a multiyear extension with Loyola on Wednesday.

"He can turn an even situation into an uneven situation. We're hopeful that he can continue this run of his."

edward.lee@baltsun.com

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