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This Week in Pro Lacrosse History: Maryland-Hopkins rivalry goes pro

Week four of the PLL’s inaugural season saw the league head to Homewood Field on the campus of Johns Hopkins University. The main attraction of the weekend was the professional version of the Johns Hopkins and University of Maryland rivalry as the Blue Jay-heavy Atlas took on the Terp-heavy Whipsnakes on Saturday night. 

“It was pretty nice just being able to go back to where you played college at,” Atlas LC attackman and Johns Hopkins alum Ryan Brown said. “It was cool because you always think your senior game will be the last time you step on that field, so being able to go back and play at a place you spent four years of time, effort and put work in, is definitely something that was pretty cool.”

Despite Homewood being the home field for a bitter college rival, the Maryland alumni on the Whipsnakes also had circled week four on the schedule, as they looked forward to reliving their college days as well. 

“I think some of our best memories from our collegiate career are playing at Homewood for a couple reasons,” Whipsnakes defender Matt Dunn said. “That was probably the biggest rivalry in college lacrosse in our eyes and going to Hopkins was this historic game. Not to mention that Homewood Field itself, I would argue, is the best venue in the country for college lacrosse and professional lacrosse, just from the way the stadium is set up and how close it is to the field.”

Matt Dunn and Ryan Brown faced each other for four years in college from 2013 to 2016. Photos courtesy of Maryland athletics/Johns Hopkins athletics)

The first night game in PLL history lived up to the hype as the Whipsnakes scored nine goals in the fourth quarter and topped the Atlas 15-10 in front of a sold out crowd. 

“When you walked into the stadium it was just buzzing. It was a nice Saturday night, 7pm game. It was packed, you could feel the energy in the air,” Dunn remembered. “That was probably the best environment I’ve played in especially since college. It was an awesome experience.”

“It was a lot like a Hopkins-Maryland game from that standpoint,” Brown said. “Having the entire stadium sold out is pretty much what would happen when we played Maryland. Being a night game was pretty sweet because any time there’s a night game at Homewood, regardless of the opponent I feel like there’s always a good crowd and they show out. It was really a throwback to college.”

Isaac Berky is a graduate of Adrian College and Syracuse University with degrees in Digital Media and Broadcast Journalism. Even though his playing career never took off, he's been able to cover the game on the collegiate level as a broadcaster, while also working around the sports industry before joining Pro Lacrosse Talk as a contributor.

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