On Monday, Loyola Maryland defenseman Jack Carrigan was passed over for Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week honors despite shutting out Lehigh sophomore attackman Andrew Pettit, who had been the only player in Division to score at least two goals in every game this season.
Carrigan's play, which included four caused turnovers and four ground balls, was one of several individual highlights for the No. 19 Greyhounds in their 14-5 thrashing of the Mountain Hawks on Saturday at Ridley Athletic Complex. It added to coach Charley Toomey's lofty assessment of Carrigan's 2017 season.
"I think Jack is playing the best lacrosse of his career right now," Toomey said Wednesday. "He's always been very good off the ground and able to steal a pass or two by getting his stick in the lane and knocking the ball down. But he's really disrupting offenses, and he's getting us the ball. We probably haven't had the number of ground balls in the defensive end that we would like compared to years past, but I will say that Jack is picking up ground balls, he's disruptive, and he's starting to win some matchups. That's a real positive for us."
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound senior leads Loyola (7-4 overall and 5-1 in the Patriot League) in caused turnovers with 18 and ranks third in ground balls with 28. He needs just four more takeaways to match the career high he set last year.
Toomey said Carrigan, one of four team captains, is the same player he was last season, but credited his improvement to his maturation.
"He's a senior, and he's probably a little more comfortable," Toomey said. "The game is slower for him, he processes it, and I think he's just playing with a ton of confidence, and that kind of goes with being a senior out there."
In the Greyhounds' defensive set, junior Foster Huggins usually marks opponents' top playmakers, while Carrigan shadows the attackmen who are dangerous finishers on the interior. But Carrigan and Huggins are interchangeable parts, and Toomey said he has no qualms if they change assignments during the course of a defensive possession.
"We're very comfortable with Foster and Jack switching based on pick plays and based on what's happening off the ball," Toomey said. "So they're not just playing one matchup and Loyola's looking away. They're playing with a lot of confidence. They can make plays and switch and help each other. There's some cohesion that's happening down there that we've been waiting for."