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Maryland defenseman Goran Murray ruled ineligible for upcoming lacrosse season

Goran Murray
(Maryland athletics photo)

Maryland senior defenseman Goran Murray has been ruled ineligible for the 2015 season, the team announced Friday.

Murray, one of seven expected returning starters for the Terps, was dealing with academic issues that hampered his eligibility to be selected in Friday's Major League Lacrosse draft, according to an Inside Lacrosse report.

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Maryland coach John Tillman declined to elaborate on the reason behind Murray's ineligibility, but he said he directed Murray to stay away from lacrosse and focus on his personal life.

"He was not with the team in the fall to allow himself to take care of the things he needed to take care of and the things that were going to help him in his quality of life," Tillman said Friday afternoon. "He has not been with us. There was a potential for him to be with us in the spring, but it was more important to give him all of the time he needed to take care of the things he needed to take care of."

Murray, a three-year starter, grabbed 17 ground balls and caused 11 turnovers en route to being named a first-team All-American by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association in May.

He was expected to be part of a Maryland defense that ranked third in Division I after allowing just 7.2 goals per game. The Terps are returning two other starting defensemen in senior Casey Ikeda and junior Matt Dunn (Loyola Blakefield) and one starting short-stick defensive midfielder in sophomore Isaiah Davis-Allen.

But Murray's absence will hurt a unit that must replace three other starters -- four-year starting goalkeeper Niko Amato, long-stick midfielder Michael Ehrhardt and short-stick defensive midfielder Brian Cooper.

The void created by Murray could be filled by sophomore Mac Pons (Boys' Latin), senior Eric Parnon, and freshman Bryce Young.

Senior Michael Bender or freshmen Matt Neufeldt could also move from long-stick midfielder to replace Murray.

Tillman also confirmed the arrival of a pair of transfers. Redshirt junior goalie Wes DiRito transferred from UMBC and will compete with senior Kyle Bernlohr and sophomore Dan Morris for the right to replace Amato in the net.

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"Everyone's got an opportunity," Tillman said of DiRito, who started in 2013 for the Retrievers but missed last season after undergoing foot surgery. "The fact that Niko's gone, you've got Kyle and Dan who were the lead guys in the fall. [DiRito] has jumped into that competition. He can certainly compete for it."

Senior defenseman Greg Danseglio transferred from Virginia, but he can't play until next January per NCAA transfer rules. Danseglio, a two-year starter who had 54 ground balls and 11 caused turnovers, is permitted to practice and go to school.

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