The Post-Week Tailgate: February 11, 2024
When the schedules for 2024 came out, it was hard not to look ahead to Maryland at Syracuse in the JMA Dome on Feb. 17. It just felt like it would be a big-time measuring stick for the two traditional powerhouses.
Both teams have taken care of business to set the stage for a game that will get the bright lights with a nationally-televised broadcast window at 6 p.m. on ESPNU next Saturday.
Maryland, coming off of a down year by its standards, needed two overtimes to escape Richmond, 12-11, in its opener, but then displayed its customary rock-solid defense in an 11-4 win over Loyola yesterday.
Logan McNaney, one of the stars of Maryland’s 2022 national championship, saw his 2023 season end with an injury in week two at Loyola. He erased those demons making 12 saves to lead the Terps to victory against the Greyhounds.
Syracuse, once a Memorial Day Weekend fixture, hasn’t won it all since 2009 and hasn’t finished more than a game over .500 since the COVID-shortened 2020 season.
Buoyed by an influx of transfers and the development of their younger players, the Orange will enter the battle with the Terps with a perfect 3-0 record after taking care of Vermont, Colgate and Manhattan as expected. Syracuse has looked fantastic doing it, led by Joey Spallina’s white-hot start. Spallina had 10 points (3g, 7a) against Manhattan on Friday night without even playing the whole game – the first double-digit performance for an Orange player since Ryan Powell in 2000.
Spallina has 26 points (10g, 16a) in the first three games of the season, looking very comfortable directing the offense from the left wing.
Buckle up for what looks like a fun Saturday night.
What more could Lars Tiffany have asked for in Virginia’s season-opening victory over Michigan? Any concerns he had were addressed in a 19-11 victory over the reigning Big Ten champs.
- The offense, with a new coordinator and several key players graduated, didn’t skip a beat. Highly-touted freshman McCabe Millon scored five times, four of them in the first half, to match Peyton Cormier for team honors. Tufts grad transfer Jack Boyden had five points and Connor Shellenberger (2g) looked fully healthy.
- Life after Petey LaSalla will go on. The Wahoos won 21 of 32 faceoffs in the game.
- The defense created havoc with 13 caused turnovers (three by John Schroter playing in his first game after redshirting last season), got a pole goal from Ben Wayer and SSDM Joey Terenzi scored the first goal of the game and added two assists.
- The last line of defense – goalie Matt Nunes – was sharp early, finished with 13 saves and kept Virginia in control the whole way.
Hello Mr. Robinson
It feels like Mike Robinson has been playing so long at Delaware that he must have played with fellow Canadiens John Grant and Curtis Dickson. It hasn’t actually been that long, but Robinson opened up year five with the Blue Hens by scoring seven goals in a 14-6 win over Lafayette. It’s the fifth time in his career that he’s scored at least seven in a game.
NJIT is 2-0 for the first time since starting its program back in 2015. The Highlanders posted a 16-15 overtime victory against Siena. A group of veterans who have battled through some tough growing pains led the way on Saturday.
Fifth-year starting goalie Liam Brown made 17 saves as the Highlanders held Siena scoreless for the final 15-plus minutes of action. Graduate student Garrett Muscatella had a career-high five goals and senior Jack Bowie scored the game-winner.
Controversy from last year’s Duke-Penn State NCAA semifinal paved the way for replay review to come to men’s lacrosse, but replay will bring its own form of controversy. As Quint Kessenich aptly pointed out during the Michigan-Virginia game, the technology disparities at even big-time schools is going to create a very uneven experience.
One team that took advantage of replay on Saturday was Massachusetts. A late fourth quarter goal by Shane O’Leary was initially waved off for a crease violation, but review gave the Minutemen the tying goal with 1:55 to play during the Atlanta Lacrosse Invitational.
Army responded with two goals in the next 80 seconds and hung on for a 13-12 victory behind Will Coletti’s 21 of 29 faceoff performance.
If you’re looking for some inspiration, new North Carolina defensive coordinator Dave Pietramala can deliver some with his whiteboard messages that he shares via his X account. Carolina’s D also delivered, allowing just five goals in a 13-5 win over Mercer in Pietramala’s debut.
Less than a day!
— David Pietramala (@CoachPetro43) February 9, 2024
By the Numbers
$51.2 million • Amount of money that the SEC paid out to each of its member schools for the 2022-23 fiscal year. Revenues distributed to Big Ten and SEC schools (primarily from media rights from football) are escalating much faster than other conferences. When, or will, that gap begin to affect other sports like lacrosse?
8.0 • NCAA-leading goals allowed per game by Manhattan last season. Syracuse scored seven times in the first quarter alone on the way to it 16-3 victory over the Jaspers on Friday afternoon.
219 • Career groundballs for Marquette defenseman Mason Woodward, breaking the school record of 218 held by USA gold medalist Liam Byrnes.
6-foot-5 • Average height of Virginia’s starting defense, led by 6-foot-7 All-American Cole Kastner.
4 • Number of replay reviews in Duke’s 21-9 victory over High Point.
7 • Goals for Navy’s Xavier Arline in the first two games of the season. No longer juggling spring football duties, the senior attackman matched his career-high of four goals in the Mids’ 16-8 win over Hofstra on Saturday.
13 • Saves for Ohio State freshman Caley Fyock in the Buckeyes' 13-6 win over Cleveland State. It was his first career start. Junior Henry Blake made 10 saves in last week’s 11-8 win over Utah.
10 • Goals scored in a span of 19 minutes as Marist flipped a 3-0 deficit against Bucknell into a 10-4 lead. The Red Foxes won 17-11 as senior Joshua Barcarcel had a career-high eight points (5g, 3a).
Saves by Jacksonville keeper Ryan Della Rocco in the Dolphins’ 9-8 victory over Binghamton at USA Lacrosse headquarters in Sparks, Md. The junior out of Seton Hall Prep (N.J.) was making his first collegiate start.
220 • School-record career points total by Boston University’s Vince D’Alto after a nine-point (7g, 2a) effort in an 18-8 win over Vermont. His teammate, Louis Perfetto, had four goals and four assists, giving him a school record 105 assists in his career.
0-2 • For the second straight season, Georgetown is off to an 0-2 start. Johns Hopkins edged the Hoyas 11-9 on Saturday.
19 • Saves by Quinnipiac junior goalie Ryan Oak in the Bobcats 17-11 win over St. John’s. It was just the second start of Oak’s college career.
1.5 • Average margin of victory for Denver in its 2-0 start. After beating Johns Hopkins in overtime last week, the Pioneers went home and edged state rival Air Force 11-9 in the snow.
2 • Wins for Colgate this season, already equaling last year's total. The Raiders, who upset Penn State in their season opener, avenged a loss to Hobart from a year ago with a 16-11 win on Sunday behind a career-high four goals from Jack Turner. Both wins came on the road and Colgate will not be home until March 2 against Loyola, its seventh game of the season.