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College lacrosse notebook: Social media another area to monitor for area lacrosse programs

College lacrosse notebook: Social media another area to monitor for area lacrosse programs
An Instagram post by Albany's Tehoka Nanticoke led to controversy but he was cleared by the NCAA. (Michael Dwyer / AP)

Joey Epstein, a freshman attackman for the Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse team, has a simple motto for what to broadcast on social media.

“Don’t post anything stupid,” Epstein said. “I think it’s pretty simple.”

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Sounds easy, but social media served as the epicenter for some turbulence in the past week. Albany sophomore attackman Tehoka Nanticoke was mysteriously held out of Saturday’s 17-16 loss at No. 2 Cornell, and coach Scott Marr said two days later that the NCAA had suspended Nanticoke due to a post on Instagram that was interpreted as promoting a company, which is an NCAA no-no.

The following day, the NCAA refuted Marr’s remarks, saying that the school had “proactively withheld” Nanticoke and that the organization had cleared him of wrongdoing on Monday. And the university’s athletic director renounced Marr’s statements on Wednesday.

Nanticoke returned for the Great Danes’ 14-8 setback to Massachusetts, but the controversy has re-emphasized the importance of using social media wisely.

“We don’t believe in telling them that they can’t post,” Blue Jays coach Dave Pietramala said. “It is the way of the world right now, and it is the way these guys communicate. I think it’s important that they learn responsibility. “

Among the 14 Division I men’s and women’s programs in Maryland, all allow their players to use social media in-season, but have them attend meetings on how to refrain from the type of behavior that can lead to trouble. None have instituted a season-long blackout as Clemson football has done since 2011.

Maryland men’s coach John Tillman said he regards an in-season blackout as a last-resort option.

“I think if it became a problem, that would be something we would have to think a little bit harder at,” he said. “But it hasn’t been a problem quite yet. We have a leadership group on our team, and that’s something I would discuss with them. Part of what we talk to the guys about when we recruit them is those types of choices and making sure that you’re responsible with the things that you post because once you post them, they’re out there forever. And if you’re a recruit or a potential recruit or a player here, those things are evaluated by the public. So you’ve got to realize that you’re responsible for everything that you put out there, and you’ve got to own those things.”

Mount St. Mary’s men looking to avoid letdown

Mount St. Mary’s scored its biggest win since 2013 when the team upset No. 15 Richmond, 12-11, in overtime. The significance was not lost on senior midfielder Jack Mangan.

“I think it was a big-time win,” he said. “In my four years, I can’t really name a big-time win like that, beating a ranked opponent and beating a team that most people think is better than us. We just wanted to keep the momentum going. We finally got on the board beating VMI [on Saturday]. We were leading most of the game, and then [the Spiders] took a two-goal lead, and in my years here, that game usually goes south and we lose by a couple goals. But this year, we were able to battle back and show teams that we’re not going to go without a fight. We were able to put it into overtime and go home with the W.”

After opening the season with four consecutive losses, the Mountaineers can collect their first three-game-winning streak since 2016 by defeating Mercer (0-5) at Waldron Family Stadium in Emmitsburg on Friday at 12 p.m. Coach Tom Gravante said the team can validate the victory over Richmond by taking care of the Bears.

“We can’t savor that win,” he said. “It’s over and done. We’ve got to move on. We’ve got another game on Friday at noon, and it’s time to get our feet back on the ground and get focused.”

Maryland men concentrating on clearing

Sunday’s 14-13 overtime loss at then-No. 17 Notre Dame dropped the Terps (5-1) from No. 2 to No. 7 in the latest Inside Lacrosse media poll, and one factor was the team’s issues at clearing the ball.

Maryland misfired on 5-of-13 clears in that game, which marked a season-worst number in total of failed clears. Tillman did note that the indoor field inside the Loftus Sports Center in South Bend, Ind., was seven yards narrower in width than a typical field outdoors, but he said the more plausible source was the players.

“We went through the clears [Tuesday] and a lot of it was the stickwork wasn’t great or us just not doing what we’ve been doing all year,” he said. “So we’ll get back and kind of clean that up and review everything. We have some schemes that we utilize. It’s what we’ve been doing for years, and we feel very good and comfortable with it. We just have to make sure we have good stickwork and spacing and [that we] execute. When we get away from those things, it’s going to be harder.”

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Notes: Eleven of the 12 starters for the No. 11 Loyola Maryland women wore long sleeves in Saturday’s 13-8 victory over then-No. 11 Penn State. The lone exception was freshman defender Katie Detwiler, who said she always prefers short sleeves. “It’s just a thing in my head,” she said before wearing long sleeves during Wednesday night’s 12-6 victory at Towson. “I get out there, but I just don’t like stuff on my arms. I like to be free.” … Tyler Canto, a junior goalkeeper for the top-ranked Towson men, admitted he was a little surprised that his backside save in the fourth quarter of a 12-10 win against then-No. 1 Loyola on Feb. 27 was not included in ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays. But he said there has been a silver lining to the snub. “I’ve gotten messages from younger kids saying how they liked watching me and asking for tips and stuff like that,” he said. “It makes me feel really good about growing the game and stuff like that. Maybe I can inspire some of those younger guys, but it felt really good seeing that around and all of the positive things that people were saying.”

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