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Towson-Hofstra game a mini reunion for families on opposing sides | COLLEGE LACROSSE NOTES

Garrett Zungailia, a starting defenseman for the Towson men’s lacrosse team, did not draw the primary assignment of shadowing Hofstra senior attackman Ryan Tierney in the Tigers’ 10-8 upset of the No. 15 Pride on Tuesday. (That “honor” went to senior Koby Smith.) But there were times when the 6-foot-7 Zungailia rotated to the 5-10 Tierney, and there were few pleasantries exchanged between the two friends who have known each other for most of their lives.

“There are really no friends on the field,” Zungailia said with a slight smile. “I’m definitely not going to go easy on him and allow him to get some easy goals. Off the field, we’re great friends, but on the field, it doesn’t matter who is across from me.”

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The Zungailia and Tierney families have known each other for almost two decades dating back to when Seth Tierney was the associate head coach and offensive coordinator at Johns Hopkins from 2001-06. Children from those families and others played lacrosse with fiddle sticks in their respective backyards, and the families vacationed together in locales like the Outer Banks, North Carolina.

Towson defenseman Garrett Zungailia, left, pressures Hofstra attackman Ryan Tierney.
Towson defenseman Garrett Zungailia, left, pressures Hofstra attackman Ryan Tierney.

“When we lived down here and I was coaching at Hopkins, there was a friends group in that Cockeysville area, and Garrett was a big part of it,” said Tierney, who has been Hofstra’s head coach since Aug. 2006. “The fortunate part back then was Ryan was bigger than Garrett. That has since changed, and Garrett has gotten his height from his family. I’m certainly upset with the outcome, but to see Garrett running around on a Division I lacrosse field and doing what he’s doing and knowing that we were part of that, that part of it is a good feeling.”

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Both Zungailia and Ryan Tierney are enjoying successful seasons. Zungailia, a Timonium resident and Calvert Hall graduate, leads Towson (5-6, 2-3 Colonial Athletic Association) in ground balls (30) and caused turnovers (14) in 11 starts. Tierney leads the country in total goals (37) and ranks fifth in goals per game (4.1).

Zungailia, who said his mother Kathleen wanted him to join the Tierney family with the Pride (6-3, 3-2), said some of his fondest memories involve the Tierneys.

“As a young kid, I can remember going to Hopkins games and things like the Hopkins camps,” he said. “And when Coach Tierney moved to Hofstra, our families stayed in touch, and we tried to visit them for games at least once a year, and we got to go into the locker room and see them. So it’s definitely pretty cool now that we’re all grown up and playing in the same conference and are rivals and get to play each other at least once every year.”

Johns Hopkins Blue Jays defender Jeanne Kachris and midfielder Keegan Barger (13) watch goalkeeper Kathleen Garvey (24) make a save of a Maryland Terrapins shot during the first half Wed., April 14, 2021. (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun Staff)
Johns Hopkins Blue Jays defender Jeanne Kachris and midfielder Keegan Barger (13) watch goalkeeper Kathleen Garvey (24) make a save of a Maryland Terrapins shot during the first half Wed., April 14, 2021. (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun Staff) (Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun)

Closing stretch

The Johns Hopkins women’s 9-8 loss to No. 14 Maryland at the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex in College Park on Wednesday marked their first of four consecutive games away from Homewood Field in Baltimore. They will travel to No. 17 Penn State on Sunday and then wrap up the regular season with a two-game series at No. 18 Michigan on April 22 and 24.

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Add earlier wins against the Nittany Lions on April 7 and Rutgers on Sunday, and the Blue Jays are slated to play six games in 17 days — a scheduling ordeal necessitated by pauses for the coronavirus within Johns Hopkins and the Wolverines last month. Senior defender Haley Reitz acknowledged the difficult stretch awaiting her and her teammates.

“It’s a short turnaround in terms of preparing for the next game,” the Owings Mills resident and Bryn Mawr graduate said. “But we’re just so excited. We’ve been not playing and just practicing for so long that we have so much excitement to tackle all of these games in such a short time.”

Best Mount women’s team ever?

Wednesday’s 17-11 rout of Bryant raised the Mountaineers’ overall record to 10-2 and Northeast Conference mark to 9-0 and extended their winning streak to 10 straight games.

All are lofty numbers, but the 2019 squad won 16 of its first 18 games, went 7-0 in the conference when teams faced each other only once during the regular season, and strung together 13 consecutive victories. Still, the current team’s run — which includes a berth in the league tournament — is a refreshing development for graduate student defender Kaitlyn Ridenour.

“[Graduate student attacker] Kate [Kinsella] and I started here in our freshman years, and we went 4-11,” Ridenour said, referring to that 2017 season. “Every year, we just keep getting better, and we keep winning. I’ve been with Kate for five years and the other girls for four. Our team is really old. So almost our whole starting lineup is upperclassmen. We’ve really grown together.”

Towson's goalkeeper Shane Brennan (1) stands ready as Fairfield Trent Moran (29) gets ready to takes a shot on goal in the 4rd quarter. The Towson men's lacrosse team beat the visiting Fairfield men, 12-11, at Johnny Unitas Stadium on April 10, 2021.
Towson's goalkeeper Shane Brennan (1) stands ready as Fairfield Trent Moran (29) gets ready to takes a shot on goal in the 4rd quarter. The Towson men's lacrosse team beat the visiting Fairfield men, 12-11, at Johnny Unitas Stadium on April 10, 2021. (Kevin Richardson / Baltimore Sun)

Notes

>>Towson redshirt junior Shane Brennan leads all NCAA Division I goalkeepers in total saves with 125. He ranks 31st in saves per game at 11.4.

>>Maddie Hart, a graduate student midfielder for the Vanderbilt women, leads all Division I players in caused turnovers per game at 4.0. The Sykesville resident and Century graduate is already the program’s career leader in draw controls with 293, is tied for fourth in caused turnovers with 112, and ranks sixth in ground balls with 148.

>>Kristin O’Neill, a midfielder for the No. 17 Penn State women, was named the Big Ten’s Freshman of the Week after compiling six goals and one assist in two games against Johns Hopkins and Maryland. The Odenton resident and Archbishop Spalding graduate entered the week tied for fourth among all Division I freshmen in goals per game at 2.5 and tied for sixth in points per game at 3.1.

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