Jan. 20 is a day that Brianna Harris has learned to dread.
On that day in 2013, the Annapolis resident tore her left ACL as a freshman at Broadneck. On that day in 2018, she tore her right ACL as a sophomore at the University of Florida.
“I’m afraid of that day,” the redshirt junior said Wednesday with a laugh. “The day before, every year, I go up to [team trainer] Tommy [Stich], and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I can’t do it.’ And he’s like, ‘Calm down. You’re fine. It’s OK. That’s just a weird case of luck.’ And he’s right because after every practice on Jan. 20, he comes up to me and says, ‘Another year down.’”
Harris’ 2020 campaign got off to a strong start when she scored a career-high five goals in the No. 12 Gators’ 11-10 win against then-No. 18 Colorado on Saturday. She also collected a team-best seven draw controls for Florida (1-0), which will visit No. 2 Maryland (1-0) on Saturday at noon at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex in College Park.
Harris made her season debut at attack, where she became a more consistent presence towards the end of last spring. She credited coach Amanda O’Leary and Stich with moving her from midfield to avoid tasking her with playing offense and defense on her surgically repaired knee.
Harris, who ranked third on the team in assists (22), fourth in draw controls (40) and fifth in points (43) and ground balls (27) last year, said Saturday’s performance has served to validate what she has been thinking internally.
“I feel as strong as I did when I was in high school,” she said. “I feel as confident and as dominant as I did in high school. So getting those numbers don’t necessarily matter to me, but the numbers do kind of show I am doing as well as I feel. So that’s a positive.”
Maryland’s Logan Wisnauskas ‘an extra coach’
It’s early, but redshirt junior attackman Logan Wisnauskas leads No. 4 Maryland (2-0) in goals (nine) and points (14) into Saturday’s game against No. 6 Penn (0-0) at noon at Maryland Stadium in College Park.
The Sykesville resident and Boys’ Latin graduate has posted seven points in each of the team’s two games, including three goals and four assists in Saturday’s 14-13 overtime victory at No. 19 Richmond. Coach John Tillman said Wisnauskas is reaping the rewards of his offseason work.
“His passion to play and his investment are huge and are paying big dividends for him because he’s developed not only as a player and an athlete, but it’s like having an extra coach on the field,” Tillman said. “He gets everybody in the right spots. He’s a guy that we just have a ton of confidence in him.”
Towson’s Grant Maloof eager to play
Midfielder Grant Maloof, who was forced to sit out Towson’s 15-7 loss at No. 11 Johns Hopkins on Saturday to retain his eligibility for his redshirt senior season, is poised to make his debut Saturday in the team’s home opener against Mount St. Mary’s (0-1) at noon at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson.
Maloof, a Davidsonville resident and South River graduate who finished last spring ranked fifth on the Tigers in goals (24) and points (35), said standing on the sideline at Homewood Field “sucked.” But he did not second-guess his teammates’ play.
“In the end, we just didn’t do well,” he said. “That’s what it was. I wasn’t going to be able to go in there and score nine goals myself. Overall, I think the offense needed a little bit of work, and we’ll work on it for this Saturday.”
>> Sam Shafer’s 15 saves in Saturday’s 12-9 loss at No. 2 Virginia were the most by a Loyola Maryland first-time starting goalkeeper in a season opener since Michael Fretwell finished with 19 in a 7-5 loss to Towson on Feb. 26, 2005.
>> Junior midfielder Luke Frankeny’s five goals in Mount St. Mary’s 14-8 setback at Delaware on Saturday one-upped his previous all-time best of four, scored against Towson in 2018 and Richmond in 2019.