In less than two months, the 2018 U.S. men’s team will take to the field in Israel for the Federation of International Lacrosse Men’s World Championship.

Between now and then, the team will have only one game together — a showdown against the Major League Lacrosse All-Stars on June 28 at Harvard — but there is still plenty of lacrosse being played by the 23-man roster.

The lone collegian on the travel roster, Denver faceoff specialist Trevor Baptiste, was recently named as one of five finalists for the Tewaaraton Award and is heading for a battle that lacrosse enthusiasts have been hoping would happen since the beginning of the season.

Baptiste won 14-of-20 faceoffs in Denver’s 9-7 win over Notre Dame to set up a NCAA quarterfinal date against Albany on Friday at Hofstra. Albany’s TD Ierlan leads the country with an 83.4 faceoff winning percentage while Baptiste ranks second at  76.5, the highest winning percentage of his remarkable four-year career.

Baptiste has won 264-of-345 faceoffs this year and has now won a NCAA record 1,143 faceoffs in his career.

While Baptiste has been doing his thing in the collegiate game, several more players have gotten off to fast starts in the 2018 Major League Lacrosse season.

New York’s Rob Pannell leads the league in scoring with 27 points (12g, 15a) in just four games, and his 15 assists also tops the league.

Dallas’ Jordan Wolf ranks third in scoring with 24 points (15g, 9a) and a pair of Ohio Machine players have started strong. Macrus Holman scored a MLL-record 11 goals in a 25-15 win over New York last month and Tom Schreiber has 10 assists, third best in the league, in just three games.

Denver’s Drew Snider scored a season-best six goals in the Outlaws 24-22 loss to Chesapeake and has 10 goals for the season.

On the defensive side of the ball, Michael Ehrhardt has been one of the mainstays in helping Charlotte get off to a league-leading 4-0 despite juggling players on the offensive side of the ball due to NLL schedules and college coaching commitments.

From his longpole position, Ehrhardt has scored four goals, including two two-pointers, has 20 groundballs and is tied for the team lead with four caused turnovers. In a 14-13 victory over Chesapeake, Ehrhardt’s two-pointer broke a 12-12 tie late in the fourth quarter.

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