Coach Jim Berkman won't use the term "revenge" regarding the No. 7 Salisbury men's lacrosse team's Division III rematch with No. 2 York in Saturday's Capital Athletic Conference tournament final. Instead, he called the chance to make amends for a 15-6 loss to the Spartans on March 24 "an opportunity."
"Anytime you're defeated or you make a mistake, you don't say, 'I've got to get revenge,' " Berkman said. "You learn from that mistake, and you look forward to an opportunity, and we've always been pretty opportunistic around here. We're taking it from that approach, that we have another opportunity, but we need to work real hard between now and Saturday to look at all the things that transpired in the last game and all the games that York has played and their strengths and weaknesses and be able to attack those things in the appropriate manner. If we do that, we will have a great opportunity."
The 12-time reigning Division III national champion Sea Gulls (15-3) will get back senior midfielder Garrett Reynolds (29 goals, three assists), who sat out Tuesday's 14-3 rout of Christopher Newport (14-4) because of a concussion. A win Saturday would likely help Salisbury leapfrog York (17-1) to No. 2 in the South Region rankings, but Berkman said the players should be accustomed to pressure-filled games.
"We've played 18 games, we've played in a lot of big games, nobody has played more regionally ranked teams than we have, we've played a hard schedule, we've played at York before, we've been to Gettysburg, we've played a great Cabrini team," Berkman said. "We should be level-headed. Are we going to be excited? Absolutely. But I think that we're going to be able to play with that emotion."
Loyola Maryland focused on exams
Between the time the No. 6 Greyhounds put the finishing touch on a 15-8 victory over Lehigh in Sunday's Patriot League tournament final and their NCAA tournament first-round game on either May 12 or 13, they could have as many as 14 days without a game. But as coach Charley Toomey pointed out, the players will make good use of the extra time with final exams on the schedule.
"It's nice because this week, you can focus on you," he said. "The following week, we'll get right back into focusing on the opponent. So there are some things we can fix. We'll watch some film coming out of the Patriot League tournament. But we want to be playing our best lacrosse and we want to be fresh in two weeks. So really it's about taking care of ourselves and making a commitment to academics and making sure we take care of those exams."
Maryland’s Kelly playing through pain
Senior midfielder Connor Kelly finished the No. 2 Terps' 8-7 triple-overtime win against No. 7 Johns Hopkins on Saturday despite taking a stick to the left side of his neck that left a large red welt and another stick to his right knee. Kelly did not score a goal on 13 shots and had only one assist, but coach John Tillman said Kelly will be OK.
"As I told him, 'You're a guy that's a marked man and you're going to get a lot of attention, and you've got to be able to handle that,'" he said. "Part of that is making good decisions with the ball and maybe not holding the ball quite as long and maybe doing damage in some other ways. It is a physical game, and we play physically ourselves. So I think that's part of his process, to kind of figure out, 'OK, can I do as much and help the team out with and without the ball?' "
No objection from Johns Hopkins
Lost in the hoopla after the Terps' win against the Blue Jays was an official waving off an apparent goal by freshman midfielder Connor DeSimone just before the second quarter had expired. While coach Dave Pietramala protested the call at the time, he said the ruling was not the reason Johns Hopkins lost that game.
"What I have realized is that over the course of a game, while everybody would like to focus on one play, I could pick out 20 plays that could have changed the outcome of that game," he said. "Do we rotate a little quicker on a shot and they don't get the goal? With the first goal of the game, do we play the break differently and the ball doesn't go in? We picked and chose our poison there, but there are a ton of plays throughout the game that impact them, and I don't believe there's one play that causes you to win or lose a game because there are so many others that could have created a different outcome."
Fromert growing for Towson
Luke Fromert has played in only four games for Towson, but the redshirt freshman attackman who transferred from Mercer made his biggest impact in Saturday's 8-7 win against Fairfield when he assisted on redshirt senior midfielder Jean-Luc Chetner's tying goal and then converted Chetner's feed for the winning goal. Coach Shawn Nadelen said Fromert, whose move from scout team to key reserve was necessitated in part by the team's disciplinary action against junior Jon Mazza and redshirt junior Dylan Kinnear, has made strides in each game.
"I don't think there's ever been a shortage of confidence in Luke from what we've seen from him out at practice," Nadelen said. "It's just the consistency of being able to practice at the right tempo and to consistently make plays and understand the offense and be a part of it. So I think the confidence piece has always been a part of him."
Woodson setting pace for Goucher
In a freshman season last spring truncated by his recovery from an ACL injury suffered as a senior at McDonogh, Matt Woodson had eight goals and five assists in 10 games, including six starts. This year, the Timonium resident leads the Gophers in both assists (27) and points (43), which does not surprise coach Brian Kelly.
"We knew that when he got healthy, he would be a contributor for us," Kelly said. "Unfortunately, his freshman year, he came in, and he was rehabbing a knee injury. So we were excited to get him at the start of the year, and he suffered an injury that kept him out of a couple games in the middle of the season. … He's been everything that we thought we would get from Matt. So it's been exciting to see."