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2017 Men’s College Lacrosse – Discussing The First Month

After the first month of the Division 1 College Lacrosse season and the Maryland area Men’s Division I teams are either unbeaten or are ready to move on to a new month.

Johns Hopkins, Towson and Maryland finish February with perfect records. 

(You can discuss this on the BSL Board here.)

The Blue Jays defeated, Navy, UMBC, Loyola, and defending national champions North Carolina. Joel Tinney has been the story so far this season for Johns Hopkins. After being out all last season, the Canadian native blew up social media with big goal against Navy where he faked a pass to a teammate and had the entire Midshipmen’s defense and goalie fooled. And then last Saturday against the Greyhounds in overtime, Tinney once again pulled fake and scored the game winning goal. Hopkins continues on the road with a traditional early March date with Princeton this week. 

Shawn Nadalen has Towson primed for another big season. The Tigers opened the season with back to back wins over Mount St. Mary’s  and Georgetown. Both Ryan Drenner and Jon Mazza have combined for 12 points in Towson’s two games. Towson will battle local rivals in the next 3 games, Loyola this week, UMBC this weekend and Johns Hopkins on March 11. 

As for the Terps, they opened the new season with a win against Navy, High Point, St. Joseph, and avoided an early season loss against Yale this past Saturday, 12-11 at home. The Bulldogs came back from trailing the Terps 11-5 in the third quarter. But thanks to a couple lightning delays (that lasted an hour and 57 minutes) Maryland was able to secure their 4th win of the season. Seniors Matt Rambo and Colin Heacock have been stellar so far for the Maryland offense. Against Yale, Rambo entered the game 10th on the teams all-time points leader list and in one half moved up to be tied for 7th. And Heacock (Boys’ Latin) finished the day with his 12th career three-goal game and was able to secure his 100th career point with the help of his two assists. The #1 Terps will now go on the road to play Norte Dame. This was one of the stranger games I’ve been apart of. Maryland coach John Tillman admitted the weather delays came at perfect time of the game to help refocus his team. “I’m proud of our guys. We didn’t play our cleanest game and had to battle some adversity. Give Yale credit there ability to come back and keep fighting is typical Yale. I’m proud of these guys but we still have a lot to work on and improve on.”

Loyola started out the gate with a couple tough losses. The overtime loss to Charles Street rival JHU and then the week before lost a close battle to University of Virginia as Ryan Conrad (Loyola Blakefield) scored the go-ahead goal for the Cavaliers with second left in the game. But the Greyhounds were able to find victory this last Saturday with an 18-5 win over Lafayette. Loyola had 12 players score goals in that game including 5 from star sophomore Pat Spencer (Boys’ Latin). 

The Midshipmen entered the year coming off a season where they went to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2008 and a share of the regular season title in the Patriot League. The momentum coming into 2017 was high. The tough losses to the Blue Jays and Terps tempered people’s preseason expectations on the Naval Academy. Then Navy got a solid win against Delaware. But opened league play this past Saturday with a one-goal loss to Boston University at home. Navy will try and right the ship this week against another conference foe in Bucknell, which won’t be easy. 

A new era has begun at University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC) as Ryan Moran steps in as the programs 5th head coach after longtime coach Don Zimmerman retired during the offseason. The Retrievers opened with three-straight losses to North Carolina, Johns Hopkins and Richmond. But this past Saturday Moran got his first win against Mercer. The Dawgs will play Towson next.

Finally, Mount St Mary’s has lost four straight to open the first month of the season. But the Mount will look to get on the winning track in March. 

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Tom Peace

Peace is a staff writer for Lacrosse Media, LLC, and also contributes to Maryland Sports Access and SFM Sports. Previously he was hired to manage the social media sites for the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland (IAAM, the girls private school league in Maryland), covered Lacrosse for PressBox, and was a host on CBS Radio 1300. Peace also previously contributed to BSL as the host of the 'Tom Peace Show.'

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