After an 11-6 victory over Bucknell last week, Maryland men’s lacrosse will remain on its home field to face Richmond on Saturday.
This is the first meeting between the two programs, although Richmond didn’t join the Division I ranks until 2014. In the Spiders’ short history, though, they’ve grown into a strong program, essentially improving in each year under head coach Dan Chemotti. They rose as high as No. 18 in the country last season, earning them a berth into the NCAA Tournament and are bringing much of that same core back in 2019.
“There’s no cupcake on our schedule,” Maryland senior attack Louis Dubick said. “Each team we play has a lot of talent. On any given day, any team can beat anyone, so we understand we have to come every day to practice and focus and be dialed in. We don’t overlook anyone.”
The Terps have started 2-0 in each of the last three seasons and six of the last eight. Maryland will have a far from easy schedule come March, making these early season home tilts important in getting the team headed in the right direction.
“Winning every game is important to us, so whether it’s Richmond, Penn, Albany, whatever, our goal is to win our goal is to play the best that we can and whatever happens, happens,” Dubick said.
The game is set to start at noon ET on BTN2Go.com ($).
2018 record: 11-6, 6-1 Southern Conference
Head coach Dan Chemotti is looking to continue the program’s steady success entering his sixth season as head man for the Spiders. Richmond is 51-31 (.622) under Chemotti, including a stellar 26-6 (.813) record in conference play. Last season, Chemotti and Richmond won the SoCon regular season and tournament championships en route to the NCAA Tournament, the second appearance in program history.
Players to know
Junior attack Teddy Hatfield (No. 14) had a fantastic sophomore season in 2018, posting 34 goals and 25 assists, both of which were single-season program records. Now, he’s back to lead an up-and-coming Richmond ready to make some noise and further cement himself in the program record books.
Sophomore attack Ryan Lanchbury (No. 9) was an All-American in high school, and lived up to that billing in his freshman season. He played the role of Richmond’s secondary goal-scorer/creator last season, finishing only behind Hatfield with 28 goals and 15 assists. With Lanchbury and Hatfield sharing the field for another two seasons, expect them to combine to be one of the better scoring duos in the program’s brief history.
Sophomore defenseman Jason Reynolds (No. 6) was another part of what ended up being an impressive freshman class for the Spiders. Reynolds started all 17 games last season, collecting 33 ground balls and causing 17 turnovers, earning him an all-conference selection. He’ll have his work cut out for him with the likes of Jared Bernhardt and Logan Wisnauskas, but he’s the best that Richmond has to offer defensively.
Attack unit. As mentioned, Hatfield and Lanchbury were important players for Richmond in 2018, and 2019 will be no different. Those two and the third close attack, Ryan Lee, combined to account for 45 percent of the team’s scoring and 50 percent of the team’s total assists. Expect a lot of the Richmond’s offense to revolve around those three.
Faceoff specialists. Richmond took somewhat of a committee approach in regard to face-offs last season, lining up six different players at the X over the course of the season. But they relied heavily on senior Garrett Smith (95-of-223), and will have to replace his production with what they have left on the roster. Whether it’s Justin Shockey or Austin Henningsen taking the majority of reps on Saturday, Maryland should have an advantage in faceoffs.
Three things to watch
1. Can Danny Dolan keep it up? Dolan made his debut as the starting goalie for Maryland last week against Bucknell, making 11 saves—five coming in the fourth period—and getting his first win as a starter since transferring in from UMass.
“I’m just trying to enjoy it,” Dolan said. “It was a long, long journey to get here, and I just wanna make the most of it.” The competition will only be getting tougher from here, but Dolan and the coaching staff feel ready for whatever challenges lie ahead of them.
2. Who gets most of the looks at the faceoff X? After last week’s game, head coach John Tillman was non-committal as to who would be taking the majority of the faceoff reps, citing how he wanted to give opposing teams different looks with Shockey and Henningsen. Shockey was the lead guy last season, but Tillman could cycle between the two as the season goes on to keep them fresh by the time tournament play comes.
3. Will defenses continue to key on Jared Bernhardt? Despite being able to contribute two goals and an assist, Bucknell obviously was doing everything they could to force someone other than Bernhardt to beat them. Maryland was able to do just that by getting goals from throughout the team, making it seem like it’s something they’re prepared to do all season.
“Everyone’s got their strengths and weaknesses. When teams key on one person it usually frees up other guys,” Dubick said. “When someone tries to take away Jared it opens up Logan [Wisnauskas], or it opens up Bubba [Fairman], or it opens up [Will Snider], or it opens up myself. I think that’s the exciting part about this year.”