Some of the top players on the local men's lacrosse teams elevated their games during the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. And now, Maryland senior midfielder Connor Kelly, Johns Hopkins senior attackman Shack Stanwick and Loyola junior attackman Pat Spencer are looking to take their teams even further this weekend.
Kelly scored four goals to lead the Terps (13-3) past Robert Morris in the first round May 13. Maryland faces Cornell in the quarterfinals at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md., May 20.
The Terps entered the tournament as the top seed and the favorite to repeat as NCAA champions.
"We have a calm, collected group," said Kelly, who was named a first-team All-American and is a Tewaaraton Award finalist. "We just had to bring it together."
Stanwick (Boys' Latin) came up huge for the Blue Jays (12-4) during their five-goal comeback against Georgetown May 13. The senior scored with 29 seconds left in overtime to give Johns Hopkins a 10-9 victory.
"At halftime, we just kind of said, 'We've been here before, we've been down and clawed back in,'" said Stanwick, who finished with one goal and four assists. "That's been the theme of our team this year. We've been down in multiple games, and we keep chipping away and chipping away."
Johns Hopkins plays fourth-seeded Duke in Annapolis May 20.
Spencer, another Tewaaraton finalist, has been one of the nation's top playmakers all season. He made his presence felt once again during the Greyhounds (13-3) 14-12 victory against Virginia May 12. Spencer (Boys' Latin) finished with two goals and three assists for a game-high five points. He leads the team with 33 goals and 58 assists for 91.
"The locker room had a lot of energy," Spencer said. "We definitely owed them from last year and this year again, so we were pretty amped to get out there and get after it."
The Greyhounds face third-seeded Yale at Hofstra University's James M. Shuart Stadium May 12.
NCAA Division I Lacrosse Quarterfinals
Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, May 20
Cornell vs. Maryland: noon
Duke vs. Johns Hopkins: 2:30 p.m.
James M. Shuart Stadium at Hofstra University, May 19
Yale vs. Loyola: noon
Denver vs. Albany: 2:30 p.m.
NCAA Lacrosse Quarterfinal
Sea Gull Stadium, Salisbury, Md.
No. 7 Salisbury vs. No. 9 Dickinson: 7 p.m., May 16