Two years ago, Brock Turnbaugh, a senior at Hereford at the time, remarked to former Bulls teammate Joe Seider how great it was to see him start as a freshman attackman for the Towson men's lacrosse team.
And more recently, Seider and short-stick defensive midfielders Jack Adams and Adam Ceribelli congratulated Turnbaugh after the sophomore goalkeeper won in his first career start for Johns Hopkins.
But as Seider and the No. 6 Tigers (5-0) prepare to visit Turnbaugh and the No. 14 Blue Jays (2-2) on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Homewood Field in Baltimore, the complimentary texts have slowed to a trickle.
"We're not really worried about that kind of stuff," said Seider, a junior who hails from Sparks. "I think after the game, we'll talk, but as for right now, it's a work week."
Said Turnbaugh, who lives in Phoenix: "It's always fun to go out and play against guys you know, but at the end of the day, it's business on the field, and you're going to do whatever it takes to win."
Saturday's showdown is significant for both programs. Towson is trying to cap a sweep of Johns Hopkins, Loyola Maryland and UMBC for only the third time in school history, while the Blue Jays are seeking their first winning streak of the season.
The game also presents the unusual matchup of Seider trying to score goals against Turnbaugh. Turnbaugh, in turn, will try to keep Seider's shots out of the net.
"It is a little strange, but it's part of the job of being a goalie," said Turnbaugh, who has a 9.97 goals-against average and a .540 save percentage through four games this season. "I don't really care who's on the other side. As soon as you step into the cage, you just have to see the ball and stop it."
Said Seider, who leads the Tigers in goals with 11 and ranks second in points with 13: "It's definitely odd. I think it's cool though. I would love to score against Brock. I want him to do so well, but I don't want him to do well against us. It's definitely a little odd, but it's a really cool moment. We grew up playing lacrosse together and now we're playing against each other in a Division I game. So it's a cool aspect of the game."
Turnbaugh and Seider first met as adolescents playing for the Hereford recreational team and have been close ever since. Turnbaugh spent his freshman year at Boys' Latin, but when he transferred to the Bulls for the remainder of his high school career, they won state championships in Seider's junior and senior years.
Seider said one of his lasting memories of the 5-foot-11, 220-pound Turnbaugh is his work ethic in the weight room.
"He was a beast," Seider recalled. "And he perfected his game as a goalie in high school. His dad worked with him all the time. I would describe him as a workhorse."
Turnbaugh said the 6-3, 195-pound Seider towered over his teammates and opponents.
"I always remember him being big," Turnbaugh said. "He's a big kid. And he's always been an athlete and a standout on the lacrosse field even when we were younger."
Both players have followed each other's paths at their respective schools and wish the other tremendous success — except for Saturday.
Asked about the possibility of facing down Seider near the end of regulation or in overtime, Turnbaugh said, "Honestly, at that point in the game, there's not a lot of thinking. It's, 'Where's the ball? Find it and stop it so that we can go the other way and hopefully get that overtime winner.'"
Said Seider: "I know at that point, I would not see him as my friend. I would see him as someone stopping me from winning a game. I don't think that would pop into my head. I think it would be a muscle memory thing where I just shoot the ball and try to score. It doesn't matter who's there."
The players' competitiveness has spread to their parents. Alan Seider admitted it will be difficult to be all smiles after the game if Towson loses.
"And they probably don't want to see us if they don't have the victory either," he said of the Turnbaughs. "Maybe that's just a parent thing because we all take it a little seriously, but there may be a wave to each other on the way out of the facility."
Said Steve Turnbaugh: "As a father of a goalie, I certainly hope Brock plays and shows well. Being a Hopkins supporter, certainly we're pulling for Hopkins just as I'm sure that the Seiders and Adams and Ceribellis are pulling for Towson."
Both players said they would gladly suffer poor individual performances for a win.
"Absolutely, I would give up five goals [to him]," Turnbaugh said. "It's obviously tough giving up five goals to a single player, but in the end, it comes down to wins and losses."
Said Seider: "I don't care if I don't even play. I would rather see us win than score a goal against Brock."