Aside from the obvious significance of Saturday's game at Homewood Field in Baltimore, the 111th installment of the Johns Hopkins-Maryland rivalry features two of the top long-stick midfielders in Division I.
Senior Michael Ehrhardt leads the No. 5 Terps (9-1) in caused turnovers with 21 and ranks eighth in the country at 2.1 caused turnovers per game. Junior Michael Pellegrino leads the No. 9 Blue Jays (6-3) in caused turnovers with eight and is tied for fourth in ground balls with 16.
And the Long Island natives have tracked each other's progress this season.
"Michael Ehrhardt is an incredible long-stick middie," Pellegrino said. "He grew up on Long Island just like I did, and I've actually watched him play growing up. I take it as an honor to be considered in the same category as him, but he probably wouldn't think anything of it either. He'll just go out there and try to win for his team. Long-stick middie is a tricky position because you can't really worry about anybody else but your team. There's so much responsibility that comes with being a long-stick middie, and you have to be worried about everyone else doing their jobs that you don't even think about that."
Said Ehrhardt: "Mike's a very good player. He's from Long Island, too. He's got a great motor. He's all over the field, and he's pretty much in every scrum, coming out with the ground ball. He pushes transition, and he's a great player. I'm looking forward to going against him."