Each week, The Baltimore Sun publishes a Q&A with an area college lacrosse player to get you more acquainted with the player and his/her team. Today's guest is Maryland freshman defenseman Goran Murray, who shut out Johns Hopkins junior attackman Zach Palmer in the Terps' 9-6 win April 6 and will attempt a similar performance in Saturday's NCAA tournament quarterfinal.
How were you so effective against Palmer in the regular-season meeting?
I just played the game, played our scheme. I moved my feet and ran with him. That's just the main thing that I try to do in almost every game. Just run with who I'm playing.
What's your strategy against Palmer this time?
I'm just planning to do the same thing. I hope our defense works and clicks the way we did in the last game to get that 'W.'
You've shadowed opponents' top attackmen, including Virginia senior Steele Stanwick, Colgate junior Peter Baum and Lehigh junior David DiMaria. How does it feel to be Maryland's shutdown defender?
I don't really look at it as being the shutdown defender. I look at it as being the team defense. Being a shutdown defenseman in high school, I learned very quickly in college that it's all about team defense. You may have one or two guys that can go out and press on the ball, but it's all about team defense. No one ever has a game where he can't get by you at least one time. So as a whole, I think our defense is growing a lot. Some games, I'm able to keep people at zero goals, and that's huge because I wouldn't have been able to do it without [sophomore defensemen] Brian Cooper and Michael Ehrhardt and [junior long-stick midfielder] Jesse Bernhardt and [junior short-stick defensive midfielder] Landon Carr and [senior short-stick defensive midfielder] David Miller and [sophomore short-stick defensive midfielder] Greg D'Arienzo. It takes a tremendous effort from those guys because if a guy gets one step on me, they're right there.
Is it a lot to ask a freshman to take on those assignments?
I look forward to every challenge. I just take pride in that. I'm trying to play the best guys on the field, trying to play the best teams. Maryland's one of the best programs in the country. It's amazing playing on this defense with these guys. These are great guys. They play hard. I try to do as they do and learn from them.