Preview: Maryland Men’s Lacrosse Kicks Off 2023 Season vs. Defending SoCon Champs

#20 Richmond at #2 Maryland

When: Saturday, February 4th at 1 PM

Where: SECU Stadium, College Park

TV: BTN+

In week one of the 2023 college lacrosse season, Maryland will welcome the defending SoCon champs to SECU Stadium for the first lacrosse game under the newly named stadium. Richmond is coming off an 11-5 season and a conference championship. The Spiders nearly pulled off the upset over the third-seeded Penn Quakers in the first round of the NCAA tournament but came up a goal short. Richmond is returning a lot of players from last year’s team, which is a big reason Inside Lacrosse has them ranked 20th in their media preseason top 20.

The Spiders last season averaged 14 goals scored per game, being one of the best offenses in the country. Richmond is a team that plays fast and will look to score early generally. But when facing a team like Maryland who has a top face-off man, and a high-powered offense, they might play a little bit slower on offense then usual.

The main player to look out for on Richmond on offense is attackman Dalton Young. Young is a senior who scored 39 goals and assisted on 23 goals last season for the Spiders. Young is the Spiders’ top returning scorer from last season. Lance Madonna is another name to watch out for on the Spiders’ offense. Madonna scored 25 goals last season and assisted on 12. With Madonna being the top returning midfielder for the Spiders, his role will only get bigger which will also mean more production from the Junior this year as well.

On defense, the Spiders gave up just over 10 goals a game last season. The Spiders only allowed five goals or less in four of their games last season. Jake Saunders, a close defender out of Canada is the Spiders’ top returning defender. Saunders left the team with 25 caused turnovers. Another defender to look out for on the Spiders is Braden McClure. McClure, as a freshman caused 14 turnovers and picked up 20 ground balls as a long stick midfielder. Expect Richmond to mix up their defense on the Terps this week a lot to try and confuse the Terps and keep them as unbalanced as possible to keep the Terps from scoring in bunches.

Two key transfers to look out for from Richmond are midfielder Derrek Madonna and Trent Grainger. Grainger, a face-off man, as a freshman put up a 52.9% face-off percentage. If the Spiders want to pull off the upset, Grainger and the rest of the Spiders face-off guys will need to have a big game in slowing down first team All-American Luke Wierman. Derrek Madonna, last season at Hobart, scored 33 goals and assisted on six goals as well. Expect Madonna to have a big role on the first midfield line along with his brother Lance.

Two newcomers so to speak for the Terps that fans should look out for is Donal Mullane, and Colin Burlace. Mullane is a grad transfer from Bowdoin College, a top division three lacrosse program in the country. Mullane scored 59 goals and assisted on 46 goals as well for Bowdoin last season. At Bowdoin, Mullane was an attackman but with the Terps plethora of depth at attack Mullane will ore then likely be coming out of the substitution box as a midfielder. Burlace is a sophomore defender that saw plenty of action last season in mop up duty when the Terps would start to sit their starters. This year however, with Matt Rahil gone, that leaves one open spot at close defense and Burlace is in prime position to take that spot. Last season in the time he was on the field, Burlace forced three turnovers and picked up three ground balls. With Burlace being the younger and less experienced guy on the defense out of all the long stick defenders, look for teams to attack Burlace the most.

For the Terps to have success and start their title defense off with a win, they win need to control the tempo and get off to a fast start. The longer Richmond is in the game, the more confident they will get and the more likely they will be able to pull off the upset. Look for the Spiders to be fired up and send a message to the rest of the country that they are not a team to sleep on.

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