After allowing just four goals its season-opener against Richmond, No. 9 Maryland men’s lacrosse allowed triple that against No. 11 Loyola.
The Greyhounds were efficient, scoring 12 times on their 26 shot attempts. They consistently got past the Maryland defenders and fired good looks on senior goalkeeper Logan McNaney, who struggled to defend the cage.
McNaney’s disappointing performance came off a great showing against Richmond, when coach John Tillman said he bailed the Terps out a lot.
Now, McNaney might not be able to bail Maryland out the rest of the season. According to a Baltimore Sun report, McNaney tore his ACL late in Saturday’s 12-7 loss to Loyola.
Named a USA Lacrosse preseason second team All-American, McNaney’s 2023 campaign might be cut short, and the Terps’ defense may take a hit without the 2022 NCAA tournament’s most outstanding player.
“If Logan can’t go, we’ve got confidence in our next guy and we’ll make sure that they’re ready,” Tillman said.
McNaney’s replacement will likely be graduate student Teddy Dolan, a transfer from Binghamton.
Dolan became a full-time starter for the Bearcats in 2020 and brings experience into the cage for the Terps. In 2021, Dolan was named the America East Defensive Player of the Year, and registered a career-best 189 saves last season.
In just under 12 minutes of action this season, Dolan has amassed three saves with one goal allowed.
When Dolan transferred to College Park, he became the second Dolan to join the Terp family. His brother, Danny Dolan, was a goalkeeper at Maryland from 2017 to 2019. Tillman called Danny Dolan a “good teammate,” and feels lucky having snagged the other Dolan from the transfer portal.
“I think there’s a lot of comfort with the fact that you have some experience there if Logan can’t go,” Tillman said.
The Terps will have their hands full against a high-caliber Syracuse offense this weekend no matter who is in goal. Ranked No. 18 after being unranked in the Inside Lacrosse preseason poll, the Orange enter 3-0, averaging 14 goals per game.
Graduate student Brett Makar and junior Ajax Zappitello — Maryland’s leaders in caused turnovers — were quiet in the Loyola loss, combing for just three caused turnovers. The Loyola attack avoided Maryland’s star defenders, and the rest of the Maryland defense struggled to contain the scoring.
Loyola registered a 35 percent offensive efficiency rating and a 46 percent shooting percentage against Maryland. The efficiency rating was the highest allowed by Maryland since Virginia finished at 39 percent in the 2021 season, the last time the Terps lost.
The last game the Terps allowed a shooting percentage higher than 46 percent was when Brown shot 48 percent in Maryland’s 2016 NCAA tournament semifinal victory.
“I think those guys are prideful guys that are leaders for us,” Tillman said. “They’ve been on the other side of it where other guys have helped them, so I think they feel a responsibility to make sure that they pay it forward.”
Makar and Zappitello — alongside fellow starting defender Colin Burlace — will look to replicate their performance against Richmond, when the Spiders converted on just 9 percent of their shot attempts.
The Maryland defense will be tested early and often against Syracuse, as the Orange are averaging 46 shots per game this season, led by freshman attacker Joey Spallina. Spallina leads the Orange in goals, points and shots.
“I think they’re very skilled on offense, they do a great job,” Tillman said. “They’re very dangerous.”
The game against Syracuse is the first of three-straight ranked matchups. The Terps’ defense will be put to the test, most likely with a new Terp in the cage.