2017 Men's Lacrosse Preview - Attack & Faceoffs
2017 Johns Hopkins Roster | 2017 Johns Hopkins Schedule
BALTIMORE, MD – In the third of a three-part series breaking down the 2017 Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse team, HopkinsSports.com takes a look at the Blue Jay attack and faceoff specialists.
Replacing Brown: There are a number of players the Blue Jays must replace from last season’s team, but none more obvious than attackman Ryan Brown, who took his 159 career goals (2nd all-time at Johns Hopkins) with him when he graduated last spring. It’s unlikely there is a player on the roster who can match Brown’s 61-goal output of 2015 or 102-goal output of the last two years – after all, those are both school records for a single-season and consecutive seasons. Still, offensive coordinator Bobby Benson has replaced key parts before and the Blue Jays have averaged better than 12 goals per game in each of the last three years, their longest such stretch since a similar four-year run from 1997-2000. The Blue Jays will score goals in 2017 with balance and depth, which is in good supply.
Stanwick Returns to Quarterback the Offense: Benson changed the way the Blue Jays play offense starting in 2014 and he’s had a Stanwick at his disposal to run the show in each of the first three years of the new system. Fortunately for Blue Jay fans, rising junior Shack Stanwick is back to quarterback the offense in 2017.
Stanwick earned First Team All-Big Ten honors last season as he paced the team in assists (38) and points (58). His 38-assist effort is tied for the 10th-highest single-season total in school history and the third best by a Blue Jay sophomore. Like older brothers Wells (Johns Hopkins ’15) and Steele (Virginia ’12), Shack Stanwick has a great feel for the game and is adept at finding the open man; his ability to effectively run the Blue Jay offense at the same level it has performed in the last several years will be a key to the season.
Dismuke enjoyed the breakout season the Blue Jays needed last year as he punched up 24 goals and three assists despite sharing the third attack spot. He scored on 47.1% of his shots last season (tied for fifth in the nation) and may be the one individual who most benefits from the return of all the midfielders that missed all or most of last season. Working with a group of middies that can force the opposing defense to move plays into the strength of Dismuke, who is crafty and efficient in-close.
Marr played in all 15 games last season and totaled 13 goals and three assists and tied for second on the team with five extra-man goals. He has been one of the team’s steadiest performers in the preseason and could easily nab the third starting spot alongside Stanwick and Dismuke. Marr has a skill set a little different than the rest of the Blue Jay attackmen and a knack for finding the net – looking for an X-factor in the Blue Jay offense this season? Keep an eye on Marr!
Fox saw limited action last season and didn’t register a point, but returned in the fall in great shape and has been effective and efficient in preseason. He has the size to present matchup problems if teams try to short-stick him and, like Dismuke, works in spaces where he can find high-percentage shots against teams forced to slide to dodging midfielders.
Impact Newcomers: A pair of freshmen – Cole Williams and Forry Smith – round out the top six attackmen on the team and both are expected to see time on an offense that will likely play 15 players on the regular basis.
Williams (#3 ranked freshman attackman in the nation by Inside Lacrosse) presents a tall, rangy presence at 6-5 and creates matchup issues for the opposition with his size, while Smith (#11 ranked freshman attackman by Inside Lacrosse) rang up nearly 250 career points playing for prep power Haverford (PA), has a great lacrosse IQ and the craftiness to be effective in different situations.
After missing the entire 2015 season, Madarasz returned last season to win 135-of-264 (.511) faceoffs and had a team-high 60 ground balls, while Moreland is 185-of-327 (.566) in his career and has won some big faceoffs at the end of games (2015 NCAA Quarterfinals vs. Syracuse / 2016 regular season overtime win againt the Orange). Madarasz is also a threat to get to the goal as he had three goals and one assist last season.
Seniors Kevin O’Toole and Matt Ledwin are likely to see increased roles this season and bring varied skills to the position. O’Toole, who many may remember fueled Hopkins’ win at Villanova in the snow early in the 2015 season, is athletic and effective when the faceoff becomes a ground ball battle, while Ledwin is effective at winning the whistle and should benefit from strong play on the wings.
While the first key to winning faceoffs is the effectiveness of the guy at the dot, good wing play is essential and losses in personnel last season made this a challenge for the Blue Jays.
Senior Austin Spencer’s return to long stick middie immediately makes the Blue Jays better here, while junior Joel Tinney also saw extensive time on the wings as a freshman before missing last season. The in-season emergence last year of junior Thomas Guida on the wings allows Johns Hopkins to not have to use offensive players there too extensively and he quietly finished eighth on the team in ground balls a year ago (23). Junior Tal Bruno, sophomore Danny Jones and a number of other players should also contribute to an often-overlooked part of the faceoff game.
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