UMBC's Marino in elite company

He, Ignacio only 2 Retrievers to win at least 400 faceoffs

April 23, 2008|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN REPORTER

Taylor Marino knows how to make an impression quickly.

In just three seasons as the faceoff specialist for the UMBC men's lacrosse team, Marino has won 404 faceoffs, joining Ray Ignacio (450 wins in 1984-1987) as the only two Retrievers to reach the 400 mark.

"I knew I was getting close to it," said Marino, who won 12 of 17 faceoffs in No. 7 UMBC's 16-5 thumping of Hartford on Saturday. "But I don't have 400 ground balls in my career, so a lot of my success goes to the guys around me picking up those balls."

Marino's accomplishment is even more surprising considering that the senior took faceoffs sparingly when he played at St. Paul's. The Baltimore native volunteered for the duty as a freshman with the Retrievers.

"I figured I should try and face off and try to get on the field any way possible," he said.

Marino has won 126 of 251 faceoffs (.502 percentage) this season.

At 5 feet 9 and 180 pounds, he has traded power for quickness, popping the ball out of the circle and hoping either he or a teammate can race in to scoop up the ground ball.

With at least two more games remaining on the regular-season schedule - and then at least one more if UMBC is, as expected, invited to the NCAA tournament - Marino could surpass Ignacio on the all-time faceoff list. But that achievement is a secondary priority.

"Right now, I'm more worried about winning," Marino said. "I'm not going to worry about how many faceoffs I need to get the record here."

Rosson paces St. Mary's

Dennis Rosson added 15 pounds this past summer, and the additional weight has paid dividends.

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound freshman attackman leads St. Mary's in goals (27), assists (13) and points (40).

"I'm a lot more in tune with my body," said Rosson, a Severna Park native and Severn graduate. "I came into my own physically. I felt less awkward about my body and more fluid in my movements."

Coughlin ready at Navy

Navy's Matt Coughlin knows the score.

Although the junior goalkeeper's aggravated right hamstring has healed enough to enable him to play nearly 12 minutes in Saturday's 12-5 loss to No. 5 Johns Hopkins, he understands coach Richie Meade's preference for using junior Tommy Phelan (Loyola), who has started the No. 10 Midshipmen's past five games.

"Physically, yeah. I feel like I'm ready to play," said Coughlin, who will travel with his teammates to West Point for the start of the Patriot League tournament on Friday. "It's Coach's choice, and I trust him at the end of the day to make the right choice."

Returning in a big way

In No. 11 Maryland's 9-4 win over Pennsylvania on Saturday, freshman attackman Travis Reed posted a career-high four assists in his first game since serving a two-game suspension.

edward.lee@baltsun.com

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