The No. 2 Maryland men's lacrosse team (8-1, 1-0 Big Ten) will hit the road for a game at No. 15 Penn State (7-3, 1-0) for what will be the first of three consecutive games on Sunday. While pointing out that the team has already played its last home Saturday game March 10 against No. 1 Albany, coach John Tillman said he has no objections to playing Sundays.
"I guess if I had my druthers, just being a traditionalist, it's nice to have Saturday games," he said. "But I also understand the value of being on television and understand there's a bigger picture here and that moving it to Sunday is good for our program, it's good for our conference, and it's good for our sport."
Fraser’s breakout for Johns Hopkins
Patrick Fraser's three-goal outing in the No. 5 Blue Jays' 13-12 win at No. 9 Rutgers on Sunday was the senior midfielder's first multigoal effort of the season. But what really pleased coach Dave Pietramala was watching Fraser score twice on cuts to the net, once on a dodge and all three in even-strength situations.
"It was great to see him not only get a couple goals, but get a couple goals in a fashion other than extra-man," Pietramala said of Fraser, who has scored 28 of his career 39 goals on man-up chances. "What we were really thrilled about was two of those goals were on great cuts and it was because Pat was in the right spot, had great spacing, was executing good off-ball movement, and that's what you expect from your senior."
Calls for Loyola Maryland’s Drapeau
Junior attackman Pat Spencer headlines the No. 11 Greyhounds' offense, but senior midfielder Jay Drapeau has already set career highs in goals (24) and points (29). Coach Charley Toomey said a few Major League Lacrosse teams have contacted him about Drapeau, who scored four goals on six shots in Saturday's 11-7 win at Colgate.
"The thing that was different about Jay this week was he was a little bit more of a stretch shooter for us, whereas in the past this season, he's been a kid that's been around goal-line and has made some really tough plays right around the crease," Toomey said. "So he showed a little bit of his multi-dimensional game."
Navy is in
Saturday's 5-4 win against Holy Cross clinched a spot in the six-team Patriot League tournament for the Midshipmen (6-4, 5-1). A victory against either Colgate (6-4, 2-3) on Saturday or Army West Point (5-4, 2-3) on April 14 will clinch at least a home game in the quarterfinals, but that's the furthest thing from coach Rick Sowell's mind.
"There's no time to be comfortable or no time to celebrate because there's still a lot of lacrosse to be played for the next two weeks," he said. "The positive thing is, we do have control — not total — but we do have control in a sense that if we win the next two, I don't know if that guarantees us one of the first two spots, but that's got to put us in pretty good position to get one of those first two seeds."
Another injury for UMBC
A week after losing a third attackman, the Retrievers are waiting for the return of senior defenseman John Tornabene, who did not play in Saturday's 10-7 loss at UMass Lowell because of an unspecified ailment. The Havre de Grace resident and Archbishop Curley graduate has started 28 of 36 games in the past three seasons and ranks third on the team in caused turnovers (nine) and fourth in ground balls (15), and coach Ryan Moran acknowledged that his presence was missed by UMBC (2-7, 0-2 America East), which has lost four straight games.
"When you lose someone like John, he's 100 percent a guy you want down there," Moran said Wednesday. "There are so many things he does well, and he's our best communicator by far. So it took some toll on our performance."
Games moved up
Saturday's forecast for a wintry mix has forced a change in games for Towson and UMBC. The Tigers will face Drexel on Friday at 7 p.m. at Johnny Unitas Stadium. The Retrievers will host No. 1 Albany on Friday at 7 p.m. at UMBC Stadium.