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Following in the footsteps of older brother Graham, Bailey Savio (#28, pictured here in Tuesday's 11-8 win at Georgetown) has emerged as the primary faceoff specialist for the No. 10 Loyola Maryland men's lacrosse team.
Following in the footsteps of older brother Graham, Bailey Savio (#28, pictured here in Tuesday's 11-8 win at Georgetown) has emerged as the primary faceoff specialist for the No. 10 Loyola Maryland men's lacrosse team. (Chris McNulty / Loyola Maryland Athletics)

While junior defenseman Patrick Foley is regarded as the top defender for the No. 4 Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse team, sophomore defenseman Jack Rapine is tied for second among the Blue Jays (8-2, 2-0 Big Ten) in ground balls (22) and caused turnovers (seven).

Rapine has shed 14 pounds since the fall to regain the quickness he demonstrated as a freshman when he finished with 29 ground balls and 17 caused turnovers in 15 starts. Rapine has also improved his mental grasp of his role.

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Flying under the radar is not a negative, according to coach Dave Pietramala.

The UMBC Retrievers have become giant killers. First it was the men's basketball team, then it was the men's lacrosse team.

"I think he's had a good year, a solid year," Pietramala said of Rapine. "I think sometimes when someone is not very visible, people say, 'Oh, he's not playing well. He's not knocking the ball to the ground a lot and taking the ball away.' For us, that's not a bad thing. If you're not noticing a defenseman, it probably means you're not noticing his offensive player."

No fuss about No. 1

Maryland returned to the top of the Inside Lacrosse media poll Monday for the first time since ending last season with the NCAA championship and the No. 1 ranking. But that matters little to the Terps, who host No. 8 Rutgers on Sunday at 7 p.m.

"We've got more games to play," senior midfielder Tim Rotanz said. "It's not really about having the ranking. It's about proving you deserve it and playing that way in each and every game. We've just got to play our best game against Rutgers."

Navy in standby mode for Daniel

Freshman attackman Christian Daniel suffered a pulled right hamstring late in the No. 17 Midshipmen's 12-10 win against Colgate on Saturday. Coach Rick Sowell said Daniel, who leads the team in points (29) and is tied for first in goals (19), is a question mark for Saturday's game at Army West Point.

The offense for the No. 1 Maryland men’s lacrosse team is averaging nearly as many goals as last year’s unit and converting more shots and extra-man chances. The Terps say those numbers can be traced to offensive coordinator J.L. Reppert.

"We'll see how the week unfolds," Sowell said. "The good news is that it's not bad. What does that mean? Is that a week? Two weeks? We'll have to wait and see."

Must-win for Mount St. Mary’s

After Saturday's 14-9 loss at No. 11 Bucknell, the Mountaineers can turn their attention to the race for one of four berths in the Northeast Conference tournament. With an 0-3 league record, coach Tom Gravante knows his team has to get a win against Hobart (4-7, 1-2) on Saturday to remain in the hunt.

"Every game is really a must-win, but moving forward with three left and three very good opponents that are in the mix for one of the four seeds, this gives us the opportunity to collect head-to-head wins over them," he said. "From here on out, to keep our hopes alive, every game is a must-win starting this Saturday with Hobart."

First start for Towson’s Livingston

With senior defenseman Sid Ewell still serving a suspension for an unspecified violation of team rules, the Tigers gave senior defenseman Calvin Livingston his first start of the season in Saturday's 17-9 rout of Drexel. The presence of the Reisterstown resident and McDonogh graduate allowed freshman Koby Smith (Loyola Blakefield) to return to his natural position as long-stick midfielder.

"We wanted to move Koby up top," coach Shawn Nadelen said. "We felt like we needed him up there, and Cal, he'd be fine playing down low with what we were going to do with mixing some zone and man with the matchup that we needed him to play."

Confidence high at Salisbury

The reigning back-to-back NCAA Division III champion and No. 9 Sea Gulls (10-3, 3-1 Capital Athletic Conference) already have three losses, their highest total since 2015, when they lost five games. But consecutive wins against No. 17 Christopher Newport and No. 8 Cabrini have kept the players' morale high.

"It obviously proves that we're possible of beating anybody on any given day with the defense that we have," coach Jim Berkman said, referring to the unit surrendering a combined 13 goals in those victories. "I think that it definitely is just another feather in our cap in our resume to beat a team that was in the top five and then to beat another team that was having its best season to date in the history of their program. … Our guys believe that we have a chance to beat anybody on any given day as we finish out this season."

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