Men’s Lacrosse Game of the Week: No. 3 Princeton vs No. 9 Maryland
The No. 3 Princeton Tigers look to welcome the No. 9 Maryland Terrapins to Sherrerd Field at Class of 1952 Stadium on Feb. 25.
This game will be the third out of Princeton’s four-game homestand to open its season. Princeton defeated Monmouth in its opener on Feb. 18 and Manhattan on Feb. 21.
Senior Alex Vardaro has emerged as the team leader this season with seven points versus Monmouth and four points versus Manhattan. He is the first player in 29 years to have at least nine goals in two games. Vardaro also leads Division I in shooting percentage with .900.
Sophomore Braedon Saris has come out of the gate hot with three goals against Monmouth and a goal against Maryland, putting him at nine points on the year.
Griffin Rakower and Michael Gianforcaro split time in net for Princeton versus Manhattan, with Rakower making eight saves and Gianforcaro making five. Princeton has been on a trend in playing both goalies in the game, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if they did that again.
Maryland came out of the gate heavy with a 15-4 win over Richmond to open the season but lost its first road game to Loyola 12-7. Back in College Park, the Terrapins defeated the Syracuse Orange 15-12.
Luke Wierman has made splashes in College Park, becoming the ninth Terrapin to win 400 or more faceoffs in his career. Against Loyola, he had a career-best tying 24 faceoff wins to put him at 437 in his career.
Wierman is also one of twelve Terps to pick up 200 or more ground balls, hitting 233 in the Syracuse game.
Daniel Kelly was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week and Dante Trader Jr. was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week on Feb. 21. Kelly had a career-high six points versus Syracuse, and Trader scored his first two collegiate goals, three ground balls and a big defensive turnover in that game.
It goes without mentioning that Brett Makar is going to play a huge role for Maryland.
In his senior year last season, he was named Academic All-Big Ten, Inside Lacrosse First Team All-American, Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, All-Big Ten First Team and a top 25 candidate for the Tewaaraton, just to name a few. Makar has twelve ground balls on the season and seven caused turnovers on the season.
It’s going to be a challenge for Princeton to take on the defending national champion Maryland team. The two teams faced each other twice last season with Maryland victorious in both.
The Terrapins took the first regular season win 15-10 and then defeated the Tigers 13-8 in the NCAA semifinal round.
The series has been swung in Maryland’s favor 33-12-1 and has been 4-0 since John Tillman took the head coaching job in 2011.
Adrianna Gallucci is a first-year student majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, please email email@example.com.
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