The No. 8 Virginia announced Thursday that junior midfielder and team co-captain Ryan Conrad will miss the remainder of the season with a lower-extremity injury.
The Timonium resident and Loyola Blakefield graduate — who has four goals, three assists, 23 ground balls and two caused turnovers in five starts and was named to the Tewaaraton Award watch list last week — sat out much of his team’s 12-11 loss to No. 6 Syracuse on Sunday with an ice pack on his right knee, according to Inside Lacrosse.
“All of Ryan's teammates and coaches are heartbroken for our captain and leader,” coach Lars Tiffany said in a statement. “A warrior on the lacrosse field, losing the opportunity to compete is especially difficult for Ryan. We know he will be with us every step moving forward, guiding his fellow Virginia Cavaliers with his passionate words of encouragement.”
Conrad was The Baltimore Sun’s Male Athlete of the Year in 2015 and Most Valuable Player of that year’s Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Game. The two-time US Lacrosse high school All-American (2014-2015) also starred on the Dons’ soccer and basketball teams.
Tinney growing as playmaker
Scoring goals has not been a problem for Joel Tinney, who is the second-fastest midfielder in Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse history to reach 50 goals in his career. But in the No. 17 Blue Jays’ 16-9 rout of then-No. 20 Princeton, the senior demonstrated that he can get his teammates involved as he had a career-high four assists.
With seven assists, Tinney is tied with junior attackman Kyle Marr for the team lead in that category and is on pace to finish with at least 22 assists, which would far exceed his single-season high of 10 set in 2015.
“A lot of guys have stepped up, and lately I haven’t been getting as many dodges because other guys like [sophomore attackman] Cole [Williams] have been dodging great,” Tinney said. “So it’s not really attacking the game, but letting the game come to me. In games past, I’ve kind of got complacent with myself and I’ve been chasing the ball around trying to make one too many plays. Today, I was just waiting for my chances and trying to strike when I know I can.”
Coach Dave Pietramala said Tinney has the vision and tools to be a distributor and set up his teammates.
“We’ve really challenged Joel to do more, to not just feel like he’s got to be the guy to make every play,” Pietramala said. “We’ve challenged him to make everyone around him better and trust that the other guys are going to do their jobs. He did that [Saturday]. The fact that he had a couple of helpers proved that he was good and those guys can get the job done.”
Fast education for Maryland’s Shockey
In his first career start, all Justin Shockey did was win 15 of 22 faceoffs and scoop up 11 ground balls in the No. 2 Terps’ 12-10 win against then-No. 8 Notre Dame on Saturday. Coach John Tillman credited volunteer assistant coach Tyler Barbarich with quickly educating Shockey, who joined the team midway through the school year and was named the Big Ten’s Freshman of the Week on Tuesday.
“We played Justin a little bit more against Penn, and he did very well,” Tillman said, referring to Shockey’s 11-of-17 effort in a 13-6 victory on Feb. 21. “He’s continued to elevate his game. So I think the plan is to always use multiple guys in every game. If a guy’s kind of a hot and in a rhythm, we’ll obviously stay with him, but ultimately you know that through injuries or fatigue, you’re going to use a couple different guys. So I think the way Justin finished against Penn and the way he practiced the next 10 days, we just felt like he would get the start.”
Shockey’s 15 faceoff wins were the most by a rookie since junior Austin Henningsen won 19 in a 14-13 overtime loss to North Carolina in the NCAA Division I tournament final on May 30, 2016.
Loyola Maryland’s Lindley shines
Freshman Kevin Lindley’s eight-goal, one-assist performance in the No. 7 Greyhounds’ 13-5 thumping at Holy Cross set a Patriot League freshman record and earned him the conference’s Rookie of the Week honor. Although he had scored only five goals in the team’s first four games, Lindley’s outburst was not shocking to coach Charley Toomey.
“We’ve been waiting for it,” he said. “There’s a reason that he’s started every game, and we see that kind of kid every day in practice. I think what you’re now starting to see is a guy playing with a little more confidence each game. When you start a freshman, it takes a little time to develop a rapport down at the attack, and [junior attackman] Pat [Spencer] has got two guys that are out there, and he’s learning their games, and they’re learning his and where to be in the right spots and how to play as a unit. Hopefully, they’re continuing to develop on a week-to-week basis.”
McCarthy taking over for Mount St. Mary’s
With the graduation of attackman Bubba Johnson, the Mountaineers needed an offensive quarterback. That role has been ably filled thus far by sophomore Brenden McCarthy, who leads the team in both goals (14) and assists (13).
“We’re just moving the ball and sharing the ball,” said McCarthy, who heads an offense that ranks 19th in Division I in scoring (12.2 goals per game). “We have real balance on this offense. It’s really nice to have a lot of kids that can put the ball in the basket. It’s really nice to have a lot of kids that can dodge and move the ball and stay composed. It makes my job a lot easier at the X.”
McKenna blossoming for Navy
For the past five games, freshman defenseman Andrew McKenna has started on the Midshipmen’s close unit with seniors Michael Strack and Hiram Carter. McKenna, who has picked up seven ground balls and caused seven turnovers, has proved a real revelation and has played so well that senior Steven Hincks — who has missed four games after undergoing surgery to repair a detached retina — will have to fight for playing time now that he has recovered from the injury.
“We don’t have to rush Steve back because Andrew McKenna has been really good,” coach Rick Sowell said. “It’s going to take Steve some time to get back into game shape.”
No revenge factor for Towson
Saturday’s game between the Tigers (2-3) and No. 14 Ohio State (5-1) is a rematch of last year’s NCAA tournament semifinal that the Buckeyes won, 11-10, on May 27. Three of the past four meetings between the two teams have been decided by one goal, but coach Shawn Nadelen said he has not heard any talk of payback.
“We don’t really use that in regards to motivation,” he said. “Us as a staff, we haven’t talked about any of that in regards to practice or preparation. We’ve put last year behind us, and we’re looking to move forward to see what we’re about this year. The players, if they’re talking about it, I guess that’s on them, but I haven’t heard anything coming out of there in regards to last year and trying to have revenge or anything like that.”
UMBC’s offense struggling
Through four games for the Retrievers so far, the offense ranks 68th of 69 Division I teams at only 6.8 goals per game. The unit’s season high was nine in a three-goal win against Richmond in the season opener Feb. 10 and has scored a total of 18 goals in the last three games, which have resulted in losses. The offense’s troubles concern coach Ryan Moran.
“There are a lot of variables that go into goals scored — one being lack of having the ball through faceoffs, clearing, and lack of transition going from defense to offense,” Moran said before noting Saturday’s 8-6 loss at Towson. “We had 17 possessions, and Towson had 26. They won 15 of 18 18 faceoffs. ... I’m worried about a slow start for the offense in general. We’re just a young group down there, and at any given time, we’re looking at three freshmen and a combination of sophomores.”
Baltimore Sun Media Group reporter Bill Wagner contributed to this article.