Originally published Feb. 16, 2022

Maryland men’s lacrosse junior goalie Logan McNaney talked with PressBox about his influences growing up as a goalie, scoring a 60-yard goal and more. The 5-foot-8, 170-pound McNaney earned second-team All-Big Ten honors in 2021 by posting a 9.89 goals-against average for a Terps team that fell in the national championship game to Virginia.

PressBox: How did you become interested in lacrosse?
Logan McNaney: It goes way back. I grew up in a lacrosse family. My mom was a coach for a few years. My dad played college lacrosse in junior college and D-III. I’ve been around lacrosse my whole life. I’ve basically been playing lacrosse since I could walk, so it just stuck. Loved the sport, loved to continue playing.

PB: How did you start playing goalie?
LM: We were in a youth league and … we kept getting scored on and everything. I used to play attack, lefty attack. I was kind of getting tired of getting scored on so much. I just hopped in, see what it was going to be like and I was all right at it. I just stuck with it.

PB: Who was the biggest influence on your game growing up?
LM: I’ve had a couple. I’ll start with high school first. I went to Salisbury [School] my junior and senior years of high school in Connecticut. The coach there, Robert Wynne, he’s a big influence on me, not as much as a player but as a person. He helped me develop more as a person. He was also my club lacrosse coach for two years, too. I’d say growing up my parents, they just gave me the opportunity to play as much lacrosse as I could. They made it fun for me.

PB: Why did you choose to come to Maryland?
LM: I love the state. I think what really separates our school, our team from others is the brotherhood here. There aren’t cliques. The freshmen don’t just hang out with freshmen. Everyone’s kind of brought together. I think that’s something really special that we have here.

PB: What’s your favorite memory so far at Maryland?
LM: I’d probably say the Big Ten championship against Hopkins at Penn State. That was pretty cool, seeing the joy on the guys’ faces, especially that season, we went through a lot. To be able to have something like that happen to us was really special.

PB: You scored a goal from 60 yards out against Ohio State last year. When did you know you were going to attempt to score?
LM: We were two men down at that point, so they had two extra guys. They went into a 10-man ride. I don’t know why. The goal was open. No one on our team was open, really, because they had three extra guys at that point. I just launched it down there and it went in. It’s pretty cool.

PB: Do you practice that scenario every day?
LM: The coaches will give us the choice to shoot the ball if it’s open, especially the defenders — they have a lot of leverage with long sticks and everything like that. But a couple times during the season we’ll just have a competition of who can get it in the net from however far away it is. It’s fun to mess around with, but it transfers over to game time.

PB: How does Terps head coach John Tillman push goalies to be their best?
LM: He doesn’t push us to be our best any different than every other kid on this team. The part that I think is cool about the goalie position here is that every goalie pushes each other. That’s kind of what really pushes us to be better. Also, the shooters, the players will tell us if they see anything. We’ll also talk to them if we see anything from them, things that they could switch up and make them more successful while shooting. So I think it’s that whole combination of the player-goalie relationships and [constructive] criticisms, teaching, stuff like that is what really pushes it.

PB: What’s your favorite thing about the University of Maryland and College Park?
LM: D.C.’s nice. It’s close. Even though we don’t get to go there very often, it’s nice to be able to go there every so often. The campus is beautiful. There is a lot of construction, but the campus regardless is pretty beautiful. There are a lot of restaurants, a lot of food. Everybody loves food, so that’s always nice. The weather’s a little bit better than where I’m from in Upstate New York, so that’s a nice part, too.

PB: Who’s your best friend on the team and what’s a story that underscores your friendship?
LM: Luke Wierman. Freshman year, we all came together, we didn’t know anybody — knew a few people. But we had a suite with six other guys. He was one of those guys that I just kind of got along with really well, understood each other really well. We like to joke around sometimes. Good friend.

PB: Who was a player you looked up to when you first got to Maryland?
LM: Coming in freshman year, Jared Bernhardt, Bubba Fairman, Matt Rahill … they’re awesome guys. Jared, he doesn’t talk much, but he just does what he has to do and he does more than that. I think that’s a good thing for young kids to look at because you can kind of adopt some of his work ethic, which I’m trying to do. It’s hard to do what he does, but he did some pretty cool things and to learn some stuff from him is pretty awesome. The other guys, they’re just great guys.

PB: What advice would you give to younger players?
LM: I’d say just play as much as you can. Any opportunity you have to pick up a stick, whether it’s to play wall ball, play catch with a friend, even go shoot at a backstop of a baseball field, anything like that. And just have a love for the game. Don’t overanalyze everything you do, don’t get too worked up about if you mess up or anything. Just love the game and have fun.

PB: What are your goals for after lacrosse?
LM: I’m not exactly sure. I want to have a nice life and everything, whether that’s making a lot of money, then so be it. I just want to have a nice life, but I’m not too hyper-focused about what’s going to happen after college.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

Issue 273: February/March 2022

Originally published Feb. 16, 2022

Luke Jackson

See all posts by Luke Jackson. Follow Luke Jackson on Twitter at @luke_jackson10