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Weekly men's lacrosse primer: Top player, top game and upcoming local schedule (March 9)

Player of the Week

Garrett Epple, Notre Dame, senior- Cockeysville, defenseman

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In a 5-4 slugfest over then co-No. 1 Maryland that catapulted the Fighting Irish to the top spot in the Inside Lacrosse media poll, Epple's work shined the brightest. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Calvert Hall graduate registered six ground balls and four caused turnovers. He was especially suffocating against senior attackman Matt Rambo, keeping the Tewaaraton Award candidate with no goals on three shots, only one assist and four turnovers. Rambo finished a game without scoring a goal for just the seventh time in 61 career games and watched his 12-game streak with a goal come to an end. Epple shared ACC Defensive Player of the Week honors with North Carolina junior goalkeeper Brian Balkam.

Game to Watch

NO. 1 NOTRE DAME (3-0) @ NO. 5 DENVER (4-1)

Sunday, 3 p.m.

Outlook: The Fighting Irish have won 12 of 19 meetings, but the Pioneers are on a four-game winning streak. Five of the past six games between the two sides have gone into overtime. Notre Dame, which has the No. 2 defense in Division I, held No. 2 Maryland to only four goals and 19 shots. Denver's offense is ranked ninth, but had season lows in goals (nine) and ground balls (25) in a loss to defending NCAA champion North Carolina.

The week ahead

No. 2 Maryland (4-1)

Coming up: At No. 12 Albany, Saturday, 3 p.m.

Comment: The Terps and Great Danes have met only once with the former winning, 10-7, last season. Junior goalkeeper Dan Morris ranks in the top 16 in Division I in goals-against average (16th at 8.37) and save percentage (14th at .579).

No. 7 Johns Hopkins (4-1)

Coming up: At Co-No. 16 Towson, Saturday, noon

Comment: The Blue Jays own a 75-13 record under coach Dave Pietramala against opponents from Maryland. Senior attackman Wilkins Dismuke is tied for third in the country in shooting percentage (.556 on 10 goals on 18 attempts).

No. 9 Loyola Maryland (3-2)

Coming up: At No. 18 Duke, Saturday, noon

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Comment: The Greyhounds have won only 12 of 30 games against the Blue Devils, but that includes a 16-11 victory in an NCAA tournament first-round game in 2016. Not only did Pat Spencer (Boys' Latin) set a Patriot League record with nine assists in Saturday's 16-9 victory over Holy Cross, but the sophomore attackman also leads the nation in total assists (22) and assists per game (4.4).

Co-No. 16 Towson (3-1)

Coming up: Vs. No. 7 Johns Hopkins, Saturday, noon; Vs. Co-No. 16 Ohio State, Tuesday, 7 p.m.

Comment: The Tigers are 4-40 against the Blue Jays and 3-5 against the Buckeyes. Senior midfielder Tyler Konen tied a career high with two assists in Saturday's 8-6 win at UMBC.

Mount St. Mary's (0-4)

Coming up: At Bellarmine, Saturday, noon

Comment: The Mountaineers and Knights will clash for the first time in their respective histories. Junior goalkeeper Matt Vierheller leads the team in ground balls (11).

Navy (2-4)

Coming up: At Lafayette, Saturday, 1 p.m.

Comment: The Midshipmen have won 17 of 18 contests against the Leopards, including the past seven. Senior midfielder Colin Flounlacker compiled career highs in both goals (four) and points (six) in Tuesday night's 11-9 loss at No. 10 Penn.

UMBC (1-4)

Coming up: At Marist, Saturday, 1 p.m.

Comment: The Retrievers have not lost to the Red Foxes in four all-time meetings, including a 9-8 overtime decision last season. Junior long-stick midfielder Billy O'Hara (South River) is tied for eighth in the country in caused turnovers per game (2.0).

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