Week Zero Notebook: Maryland’s D Dominates, Hopkins Tops Jacksonville in Primetime

(Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics)

Welcome back, college lacrosse!

After an offseason filled with coaching changes, transfer portal movement, conference realignment, and all the talk that surrounded those moves, it is great to have actually lacrosse back.

From Columbus, Ohio to Jacksonville, Florida, week zero was chalk full of exciting games . We’ll get into all the action from this past weekend on the first installment of my first weekly college lacrosse notebook.

After toying around with some things last season, I’ve made some changes to the weekly column to both improve the product and cover more of the sport. Enjoy!

Top Storylines

Johns Hopkins Runs Away From Jacksonville in Primetime

Leading just 6-5 at the end of a first half that saw things be fairly even with exception to the Blue Jays’ 8-for-13 mark in the clearing game, Johns Hopkins turned on the jets in the third quarter and was able to ensure the victory, 12-7, against the Jacksonville Dolphins under the lights in the Sunshine State.

Faceoff Matt Narewski was out with injury for the Blue Jays. However, it was Logan Callahan time. He went 10-for-13 (76%) at the dot on the day to help give Johns Hopkins a clear advantage over the Dolphins at the position. He was especially good in the third quarter where he went 4-0. The first three of those wins all lead to possessions that ended in goals, helping Hopkins them pull ahead 10-5 with 8:13 left in the quarter.

Tim Marcille was also especially good for Hopkins. Making his first start in two seasons, he recorded 15 saves and anchored a defense that held Jacksonville to just two goals in the second half and held them off the scoreboard for a 14 minute stretch from late in the second through late in the third. Alex Mazzone, who started down low, caused two turnovers, grabbed one ground ball, and score a goal to lead the way out in front for the Hopkins defense.

On the other end, Jacob Angelus led the way with two goals and two assists. Dylan Bauer (2G/1A), Brendan Grimes (2G), and Jonathan Peshko (1G/1A) were also main contributors for a Blue Jays’ offense that was seemingly able to get to some good spots all night and started converting those looks in the second and third quarters. Hopkins outscored the Dolphins 9-3 in those two frames alone.

Jacksonville was without star attackman Max Waldbaum. Brandon Galloway led the Dolphins’ offense with a hat trick while Jacob Greiner had two goals. Luke Millican made 11 saves with a 47% save percentage to anchor the Jacksonville defense.

Did Maryland’s Defense Get Better?

The defending national champion Maryland Terrapins began their title defense on Saturday when they took the field against the Richmond Spiders and had no problems getting the job done with a 15-4 victory.

While the new-look Maryland offense was phenomenal, it was the Terrapins’ defense which headlined this team’s performance overall. Brett Makar, the latest Terp to wear the No. 1 jersey, collected five ground balls while causing four turnovers and Logan McNaney made 12 saves in cage. Ajax Zapitello caused three turnovers and collected two ground balls while Colin Burlace had one each in his first career start. LSM John Geppert had one goal, one assist, two ground balls, and caused a turnover.

Sacred Heart transfer Donovan Lacey and freshman Eric Kolar looked to get most of the runs at the SSDM spot.

Maryland held the Spiders to just a single goal in the first half and held the them off the board for nearly 45 minutes with Richmond not getting on the board for a second time until the 11:23 mark in the final frame. The Spiders were held to just nine shots on goal all day.

Richmond’s four goals is the least amount allowed by Maryland in a game since February of 2018.

The Denver Offense Shows Its Teeth

Bill Tierney’s final season opener ended in victory as the Denver Pioneers defeated the Utah Utes 12-4 in a contest that saw their offense get humming early and stay consistent until the final buzzer.

JJ Sillstrop (2G/1A) and Noah Manning (1G/2A) each had three points on the day while Michael Lampert, Stephen Avery, and Andrew Atchinson each had two goals apiece. Richie Connell, Jack Tortolani, and Ty Hussey each had one.

The Pioneers showcased an impressive ability to zip the ball around all day, putting on an absolute ball-movement clinic out west. They ended the game with six straight scores. The Pioneers’ ability to beat the Utes in transition was also notable.

Ohio State Showcases Offensive Depth

The Buckeyes defeated Air Force 15-7 in what was the first regular season contest at the new Ohio State Lacrosse Stadium. While Jack Myers’ nine points (4G/5A) is the most eye-popping stat line of the game, the depth of the Buckeyes’ scoring was just as impressive.

Being able to create a ton of opportunities on the back side as well as inside with their motion offense, the Buckeyes had eight different point-getters and six goal-scorers on the day. That includes four multi-goal scorers.

Scott White had four goals while Kyle Borda had a hat trick in his Buckeye debut. Ed Shean had two goals. Richie LaCalandra dished out two assists in his debut with Ohio State.

Will Mark is The Answer Syracuse Needed

The Syracuse Orange defeated the Vermont Catamounts in a defensive-heavy and somewhat sloppy 7-5 contest on Saturday afternoon.

Syracuse trailed 1-0 after the first and had to fend off a strong third quarter performance from the Catamounts to earn the victory, and the hero for the Orange was goalie Will Mark. A transfer from LIU, Mark made 13 saves with a 72% save percentage in his debut with the Orange. That included four saves in the fourth quarter to help keep the Catamounts at bay late.

Three Winners, Three Losers

Winner: Maryland Terrapins

As previously mentioned above, the Maryland Terrapins dominated the Richmond Spiders in a season-opening win that saw the Terrapins’ defense steal the show.

One of the key storylines concerning Maryland coming into the season was its offense having lost each of its top six options from a year ago and how those pieces would be replaced. Well, as expected, Maryland has seemed to reload on that end once again with Owen Murphy (4G) and Daniel Maltz (2G/3A) leading the way. Freshman Braden Erska added two goals and one assists in his college debut.

The Terrapins still look very malleable on offense with 13 overall point-getters and 10 goal-scorers on Saturday. Luke Wierman also continued his dominance at the dot as he went 10-for-17 (58%).

Winner: Syracuse Orange

For the first time in 315 days, the Syracuse Orange are back in the win column. The Orange defense, anchored by goalie Will Mark, showed up big time and was able to help lead the way in a 7-5 win over Vermont.

Syracuse was down 1-0 at the end of the first quarter and trailed 5-4 late in the third frame. However, scoring each of the final three goals and the ability to keep Vermont off the board late helped push Gary Gait’s squad to victory. Will Mark was huge with 13 saves while Johnny Richusa (7-for-16, 43%) battles at the dot. Jackson Birtwhistle (2G) and freshman Finn Thompson (1G/2A) led the way for the offense.

Fact is, Syracuse won a game today that they lose last year.

Winner: Johns Hopkins

The Blue Jays showed a lot on Saturday night in their 12-7 win over the Jacksonville Dolphins. From faceoff depth, the play of Marcille in cage, and the sharing of the wealth on offense (Hopkins had nine goal scorers), there is a lot to like about that performance.

Defense was the strength of this team last season and the injection of Alex Mazzone into that unit has seemed to make things even better. They were able to attack some of the Dolphins’ weak points and win matchups that they needed. That plus the improved play from the offense from the first quarter through the rest of the game were positive takeaways.

Its been a tough first two seasons for Peter Milliman at Homewood. Saturday’s win is a nice way to start what could be an improved 2023 season.

Loser: Vermont Catamounts

Jonas Hunter and Brock Haley scored consecutive goals within a minute of each other late in the third to give the Catamounts the 5-4 lead. Winning the ensuing possession, the Catamounts held onto possession for a little over four minutes but would never score or put a shot on cage. Joey Spallina score for Syracuse with 36 seconds in the frame to give the Orange a lead they would never relinquish.

It is still February, to be sure, but Saturday saw Catamounts team that committed 21 turnovers and couldn’t get its offensive figured out for most part. There is still some adjusting to do in Burlington.

Loser: Utah Utes

Maybe I was wrong to predicate my thoughts on the Denver-Utah game based on the prior two contest between the two (each one-goal games). But no matter what, a 12-4 loss is not what the Utes wanted out of Saturday.

Utah started fairly strong and it was a one-goal game with 4:14 in the half after a pair of consecutive Jordan Hyde goals. After that, however, the Utes would only score once more – again from Hyde and on man-up. Struggles at the faceoff dot, the inability to win key ground ball battles, and some clearing trouble late in the game helped contribute to the Utes falling behind and eventually losing the game.

Loser: Jacksonville

Having Max Waldbaum out due to injury certainly impacted the Dolphins in Saturday night’s primetime matchup with Johns Hopkins. However, seeing the Dolphins get beat at the faceoff dot and force some of the shots they did were clear negatives from this game.

Featuring a younger defense backstopped by Luke Millican and with the likes of Tucker Garrity at the rope unit, they had their moments and will certainly be pretty strong, but unable to win some of those matchups. Getting Waldbaum back will likely be a big lift on the other end. This is still a top 20 team for sure.

Conference-By-Conference Notes


  • Duke dominated Bellarmine 19-7 in a game that saw Brennan O’Neil (2G/5A) surpass the 100 career goals mark. Will Helm got the start in cage for the Blue Devils and made eight saves with a 67% save percentage in the action he saw.


  • Air Force fell 15-7 against Ohio State. Sophomore Josh Yago netted two goals and one assist in his debut. Jason Rose made seven saves.
  • Bellarmine fell to Duke 19-7 on the road in its opener. Kyle Playsted had four points (2G/2A) for the Knights while goalie JC Higginbotham made a career-high 22 saves.
  • Detroit Mercy nearly put together the comeback on a 14-11 loss at VMI. Ryan Birney had five goals on the day to led the Titans.
  • Lindenwood fell hard in its DI opener with a 17-2 loss against Marquette. Wesley Scurci netted the program’s first DI goal.
  • Mercer was rolled 20-6 by Bucknell in the first game of the Ryan Danehy era. Parker Junod had one goal and two assists to lead the Bears.
  • Queens fell 19-5 to Navy in its DI opener on Sunday.
  • Utah fell to Denver 12-4. The Utes saw Jordan Hyde lead the way with a hat trick. Colin Lenskold made eight saves in his first start and college debut.

Atlantic 10

  • Richmond fell 15-4 against Maryland. Dalton Young had two goals for the Spiders.

Big East

  • Marquette had no trouble in a 17-2 defeat of Lindenwood. Bobby O’Grady netted six goals and dished out one assist to lead the way for the Eagles.
  • Providence earned a win in its first game under Bobby Benson, knocking off Holy Cross 12-9. Michael Chabra netted four goals to lead the way for the Friars.

Big Ten

  • Penn State earned a 21-11 victory over Lafayette at home to open the season. The Nittany Lions saw Matt Traynor (5G/1A) and Chris Jordan (4G/1A) led the way.
  • Rutgers defeated Marist 20-8 to open its season on Saturday afternoon. The Scarlet Knights were led by a nine-point (5G/3A) outing from Dante Kulas. Kyle Mullin got the starting nod in between the pipes and made 10 saves with a 59% save percentage.


  • Hofstra fell 10-7 to Merrimack on Sunday. Five of Hofstra’s goals came in the fourth quarter.


  • Marist lost 20-8 to Rutgers in its season opener. James Lyson netted three goals and dished out one assist to lead the Red Foxes. Noble Smith got the start in cage and made eight saves with an 80% save percentage.
  • Merrimack defeated Hofstra 10-7 in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score suggest. Tommy (3G/1A) and Jack Rooney (1G/3A) each had four points in the game.
  • Mount St. Mary’s fell 13-7 at Navy. Jared McMahon had two goals and two assists to lead the way for the Mountaineers.
  • VMI held off a comeback effort to defeat Detroit Mercy 14-11. Scout Ripley netted four goals to lead the way for the Keydets.

Patriot League

  • Bucknell smacked Mercer 20-6 in its season opener to earn the first DI win of the season. Dutch Furlong had 10 points off four goals and six assists while Connor Davis had four goals of his own. Freshman Michael Meyer made the most of his collegiate debut, scoring six goals and dishing out one assists.
  • Holy Cross lost 12-9 to Providence in its season opener on Sunday.
  • Lafayette lost 21-11 on the road against Penn State. John Mathes led the way for the Leopards with two goals.
  • Navy held off Mount St. Mary’s 13-7 on Saturday in a game where Patrick Skalniak netted five goals. Pat Ryan and Dan Daly split time in cage, each playing a half. The Midshipmen then played Queens on Sunday in a 19-5 victory.

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