Sophomore midfielder Luke Frankeny and the Mount St. Mary's men's lacrosse team own a one-game lead over Hobart in the race to the Northeast Conference's regular-season title and the right to host the league's tournament. The two teams will clash on Saturday.
Sophomore midfielder Luke Frankeny and the Mount St. Mary's men's lacrosse team own a one-game lead over Hobart in the race to the Northeast Conference's regular-season title and the right to host the league's tournament. The two teams will clash on Saturday. (David Sinclair / David Sinclair)

The Mount St. Mary’s men’s lacrosse team is riding a five-game winning streak, the program’s longest since the 2010 squad also went on a five-game run. If the players had enough faith in the preseason to declare that capturing the league’s regular-season championship was an objective, their belief has only gotten stronger.

“Every win definitely adds more confidence to what we already had,” sophomore midfielder Luke Frankeny said. “Getting those wins in the NEC makes us very confident. We’re just using that head of steam to continue to stay on track.”

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The Mountaineers (8-5, 4-0 Northeast Conference), who have not won the regular-season crown and hosted the conference tournament since 2011, have already clinched a berth in the NEC postseason for the first time since 2015 and own a one-game lead over Hobart (9-3, 3-1). But if the Statesmen win Saturday’s game against Mount St. Mary’s, the teams will be tied atop the league, and Hobart will own the head-to-head tiebreaker before the regular-season finale for both sides.

Mount St. Mary’s coach Tom Gravante said he has been impressed by a group that includes four seniors, 12 juniors, three redshirt juniors and one redshirt senior.

“It’s a mature team,” he said. “It’s an extremely athletic team in some areas, and it’s all coming together. We still haven’t peaked, which I told them I’m OK with. I don’t want them to peak just yet, and we’re still going through some learning pains in terms of our lacrosse IQ on both sides of the field and our discipline. But I also think that sometimes in life, it’s better to be lucky than good, and I’m grateful that we’ve had some good luck at the right times in games to help us win.”

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Terps training room

Sophomore short-stick defensive midfielder Michael Chiaramonte’s availability for No. 2 Maryland’s game at No. 9 Ohio State on Saturday is up in the air after he suffered what coach John Tillman described as “an upper-body injury” in Sunday’s 16-13 win at Rutgers.

The Terps (10-2, 2-1 Big Ten) could use Chiaramonte (eight ground balls and two caused turnovers), who is usually the first short-stick defensive midfielder off the bench after starters Roman Pugliese and Alex Smith, against the Buckeyes (8-2, 1-2). However, Tillman pointed out that the position is also stocked by seniors Thomas O’Connell and Wesley Janeck and freshman John Geppert.

“We’re lucky,” Tillman said Wednesday. “We have a little bit of depth there, and the way that we play it, a lot of our offensive guys, if they have to get back and defend early offense – which Ohio State does a very good job of – we’re comfortable with those guys just staying on and playing defense. That allows us to not strain those defensive midfielders as much.”

Salisbury women’s defense

While the top-ranked Salisbury men absorbed their first loss in an 11-9 defeat to No. 3 York on Wednesday night, the No. 5 Salisbury women outlasted the No. 9 Spartans, 10-9, in double overtime courtesy of senior attacker Gabby Mongno’s second goal of the game.

A defense that has given up only 7.6 goals per game during the Sea Gulls women’s 13-2 record and 4-0 mark in the Capital Athletic Conference returned all five starting defenders from last year’s squad that lost to eventual NCAA Division III champion Gettysburg in the national semifinals. The unit also has been bolstered by the play of first-year starter and junior goalkeeper Skye Graham (8.04 goals-against average and .502 save percentage).

“It’s one big unit,” Salisbury coach Jim Nestor said Thursday. “We don’t have that ability to isolate one defender and say, ‘You’ve got to stay on the top kid.’ They’re really working well as a whole unit.”

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Boston University defenseman Quintin Germain and Stony Brook midfielder Ally Kennedy are The Baltimore Sun’s National Players of the Week in men’s and women’s lacrosse, respectively.

A’s for Hood attackman

Time will tell whether Hood will earn a berth in the Middle Atlantic Conference Commonwealth tournament, but senior attackman Zak Kooser has already cemented himself as the most-prolific facilitator in program history.

The Glen Burnie resident and Archbishop Spalding graduate has racked up 111 career assists, having passed previous leader Alex Engler’s single-season record of 35 when he finished with 41 as a sophomore. Kooser, who had 34 assists entering Thursday night’s game against Messiah, has averaged 34.3 assists in each of his last three seasons after totaling only eight as a freshman.

“We saw potential in him when we recruited him, but he’s even exceeded the potential that we saw in him, and that’s a credit to him,” Blazers coach Brad Barber said. “He’s kind of the quarterback back there. He does a very good job of reading the defense and making the plays we need him to make.”

Quick hits

» With three assists in Saturday’s 12-7 victory at Ohio State, senior attacker Miranda Ibello, a Cockeysville native and Maryvale Prep graduate, moved to third place in Johns Hopkins women’s Division I history in all-time assists (93) and 10th in career points (163).

» By winning 14 of 20 faceoffs in Saturday’s 9-8 overtime loss to No. 17 Army West Point, Nick Barry became only the second Navy freshman to compile 100 faceoff wins in a season, joining Brady Dove (163 in 2014).

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» With four goals in Saturday’s 18-11 loss at No. 16 Boston University, sophomore attackman Kevin Lindley has picked up 51 goals this spring, becoming the fifth player in Loyola Maryland and Patriot League history to reach the 50-goal mark in a season.

» Junior Jakob Katzen made a career-high 30 saves in the McDaniel men’s 19-9 loss to No. 15 Franklin & Marshall on Wednesday, joining Chuck Nolan (34 stops on March 16, 1983) as the only goalkeepers in Green Terror history to turn back at least 30 shots.

» With eight draw controls in Wednesday’s 16-3 loss to Franklin & Marshall, senior midfielder Lindsey Farrell, a Towson native and Loch Raven graduate, moved into second place in McDaniel women’s history with 232 career draw controls, passing Maggie Quinn’s total of 228.

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