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Lax Awards: April 3 through April 9

It’s crazy to think that we are already heading down the final stretch of the final month of the regular season in college lacrosse. This year as flown by but it also means that the intensity is going to be picking up as teams fight for their postseason positioning and in some cases, postseason lives.

Four of the local Division I lacrosse men’s teams are ranked in the USILA poll – Maryland (3), Johns Hopkins (12), Towson (16), and Loyola (19). At the DIII level, Stevenson is still showing their tremendous power as the 12th-ranked team, though it is a shame their game against in-state rival and current No. 1 Salisbury won’t be happening this season outside of a potential NCAA Tournament game.

On the women’s side, the Terps are dominating every team they face as they stand as the unanimous No. 1 team in the country. Towson is tied for 13th in the rankings as well.

But with so many teams being successful, let’s look at the standouts from last week.

Team of the Week

Maryland Terrapins Men’s Team

For a brief time, this season the Maryland Terrapins men’s team rose to the No. 1 spot in the USILA polls but stumbled as they lost their next two games. It seemed after that, that the Terps were a very good, but not necessarily a great team. But on Saturday the Terps proved that they were as great as everybody thought they would be this year. Maryland invited the undefeated and No. 1 ranked Penn State Nittany Lions to Capital One Field on Saturday and rolled to a 15-11 victory that wasn’t as close as the final score. It was the signature victory for the Terps this year and they appear to be peaking at the right time, heading down the home stretch of the regular season. Maryland jumped out to a 4-1 lead and led 12-6 in the third quarter. After the Nittany Lions got within three goals later in the period, the Terps rattled off three more goals to take their six-score lead back with 12 minutes remaining in the game. Even against a team like Penn State, a team as powerful as the Terps was not going to collapse. With the victory, Maryland ascended to the No. 3 spot in the USILA rankings.

Player of the Week

Kaitlyn Montalbano – Towson Tigers Women’s Team

After dropping their CAA opener the Towson Tigers women’s team came out this past weekend looking to prove they are still one of the team’s to beat in the conference. Mission Accomplished. Towson won two games in three days as the got past a fighting William & Mary team, 14-11, and then blew out a 19th-ranked Elon Phoenix squad 19-7. Leading the charge in both of those games was junior midfielder, Kaitlyn Montalbano. On the weekend, she scored 11 goals and registered 13 points. Against the Pride, Montalbano scored six goals with one assist, three ground balls, two caused turnovers, one draw control and was 1-for-1 in free position attempts. Against the No. 19 Phoenix, she scored five goals with one assist and two ground balls and again, was 1-for-1 scoring on free position shots.

Quote of the Week

“We’re a family. We’re a unit. Yes, we were in the beginning of the season but we’ve got so many trials and tribulations in out losses and we’ve got some tough losses in our past but one thing about this team is that no matter what we’re faced with we’re fighting back. It’s not a matter of ‘oh they got us, we’re just going to let this go’ it’s ‘we’re never going to let this happen again.’ and we’re going to fight harder and harder.“

– Stevenson senior Olivia Monteiro on the turnaround the Mustangs have made, winning three straight games in blowout fashion after starting the year just 3-6, including two losses to open conference play. In the 18-8 victory over Widener on Saturday, Monteiro moved into seventh place on the school’s all-time goals and assists list. She had four goals and one assist in the game. All-time she has 128 goals and 50 helpers.

Game of the Week Preview

UMBC Retrievers Men’s Team vs. Binghamton Bearcats

It might be easy to put the No. 1 Terps at No. 6 Albany. It’s two top 10 teams, both having displayed incredible scoring ability this year and was out game of the week pick before it got postponed for weather, but the battle in Catonsville between two unranked teams is a very important game. At this point, barring a horrible collapse, the Terps are a sure bet to be in the NCAA Tournament. Their game against the Great Danes will be an important one when it comes to seeding, but Maryland has pretty much clinched at least an at-large bid. UMBC is in a different position and this game against a Binghamton team that may not be ranked, but is receiving votes is key for them. Already this year the Retrievers pulled off a somewhat unexpected road win over America East foe Stony Brook. Now they’ll host a talented Binghamton squad with something to prove. It will be a telling game for UMBC. Under first-year head coach Ryan Moran the Retrievers have shown great improvement and are proving to be a very tough opponent, particularly on the defensive end. Last week they held Albany to only 10 goals, well below their 17-goals per game average. UMBC is 2-1 in America East play and sit third in the standings. A victory over Binghamton would jump them into second place in the conference standings and put them in line to host a postseason game. Binghamton is 3-0 and are averaging 11.2 goals per game, but are allowing only 7.6 per game.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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