Preview: Men’s Lacrosse Hosts John’s Hopkins for 118th Edition of “The Rivalry”

Maryland 8-3 (3-1) vs John’s Hopkins 10-4 (3-1)

When: Saturday, April 22nd, 6PM

Where: SECU Stadium

TV: Big Ten Network

In what is arguably the biggest game of the Terps’ regular season, the Terps will be hosting their biggest rivals, John’s Hopkins in what is arguably the biggest rivalry in all of college lacrosse. The game could also determine who earns the one seed in the Big Ten tournament that starts next week. If the Terps win, they will earn the #1 seed and a first round bye.

John’s Hopkins is led by a two-headed attack on offense by Jacob Angelus and Russell Melendez. Angelus is fourth in the country in assists with 34, while also scoring 12 goals. Angelus is a speedy attackman that is great at using his speed to his advantage to get open and set himself up to dish out easy assists. The Terps will likely rely on Ajax Zappitello to guard Angelus and limit his production this weekend. Melendez is a big threat to score goals for Hopkins. He is second on the team with 26 goals and also has nine assists to his name. Melendez is a great dodger as well as someone that can rip it from range. Look for Brett Makar to be on Melendez for most of the game to try and shut him out.

On defense, Hopkins is led by Alex Mazzone and Tim Marcille. Mazzone is one of the top long stick defenders in the country earning him mid-season third-team All-American honors by Inside Lacrosse. Marcille is the Blue Jays’ goalie and has been a key part in their success this season. This season, Marcille has a save percentage of 52% and also has a goal and two assists to his name. Marcille is great at using his quickness to make close saves as well as in the clear game. Hopkins overall is not great defensively, but they always seem to get better as the game goes on and come up when needed most.

The Terps will need to keep relying on freshman attackman Braden Erksa to lead the offense. So far this season, Erksa is tied for total points on the team with 27 off of 13 goals and 14 assists. Erksa is a lot like Hopkins’ Angelus. He is very quick and uses it to his advantage to either get open for the easy pass or open shot. On defense, the Terps will rely heavily on Zappitello and Makar to slow down the high-octane Hopkins’ offensive attack. This game is going to be a physical and very emotional game. Outside of last year’s 22-7 clinical win the Terps had over Hopkins last season, the series is generally a closely fought game. I expect this season’s game to be no different with Hopkins likely out for some revenge. However, I still think the Terps’ defense will do just enough to get the job done by a score of 12-11 and with how well both teams have been this season ad the history of the rivalry, I would not be shocked if this game was to go to overtime. Look for the Terps to hoist up the crab trophy for the sixth time in a row after this weekend’s game.

This will be the 118th edition of “The Rivalry”, and Maryland trails in the series 49-67-1. The Terps are however on their longest winning streak of the series at five with their last loss coming in 2019. Last season, the Terps broke the record for the largest margin of victory in the series with their 15-goal win. Luke Wierman is now just 85 face-off wins away from becoming the Terps all-time face-off win leader. The Terps have not lost multiple regular season conference games since 2019 and will be looking to continue that streak. Last week, the Terps had their 67-game streak of having a player with a hat trick, but look for them to start that streak all over again this week.

Related Links

VIP: underclassman shining, more priority recruits heading to campus (+)

Local DB’s relationship and praise for Henry Baker leads to return visits to Maryland (+)

Maryland men’s basketball loses third staffer to head coaching role

Hunter Dickinson recaps Maryland and Georgetown visits, busy schedule ahead

VIP: next step for Hunter Dickinson, another Florida visitor (+)