The Maryland Terps men’s lacrosse squad is primed for another big season, and another run at a championship. Maryland has been the most consistent team in the country under head coach John Tillman. During his eight season reign, Maryland has appeared in seven NCAA Final Fours and five NCAA National Title Games with one National Title coming in 2017. Tillman is 110-33 as the Terps boss man.
Under Tillman, Maryland has also excelled in attracting the countries top talent leading the nation in All-American selections with 53 and MLL draft selections with 36.
WHO DOES MARYLAND LOSE?
Maryland loses A LOT. Connor Kelly, Tim Rotanz, Bryce Young and Dan Morris were all team captains, and were all former All-Americans. Kelly, Young and Rotanz are the biggest kick in the turtle’s nuts.
Connor Kelly (Attack)
Tim Rotanz (Midfield)
Bryce Young (Defense)
Matt Neufeldt (LSM)
Dan Morris (Goalie)
WHO DOES MARYLAND RETURN OFFENSIVELY?
Jared Bernhardt is the big dog returning after putting up 40 goals with 16 assists in his sophomore season. Bernhardt will be donning Maryland’s coveted #1 jersey, inheriting it from Connor Kelly and awarded to Maryland’s top offensive player every year. He has earned it and will wear it well for certain. Bernhardt is a goal hawk just like Kelly, and just like the #1’s of Maryland’s past, he’s capable of feeding when required.
Logan Wisnauskas is the main reason I don’t expect to see the Terps to fall in any manner offensively. Where Bernhardt was the compliment to Kelly last year. Wisnauskas will step in and play that same role to Bernhardt in 2019. The two have a similar game, albeit #12 is coming in at 6′ 3″ and 215. A big attacker to be certain. He put up 35 goals and 15 helpers as a freshman, so expect for him to improve upon that point total in his second season.
Bubba Fairman is another guy Terps fans are really excited about. This kid out of Utah put up 26 goals and 9 assists as a freshman and as a sophomore will be called upon to help lead the Maryland midfield. His nickname, “Bubba” was given to him because he weighted 13 pounds at birth. God bless his poor mother. He better parlay this lacrosse career into some money and buy her something nice.
WHO DOES MARYLAND RETURN DEFENSIVELY?
Curtis Corley will lead the Terps defense and will be expected to cover every teams big cat attacker. He forced 13 turnovers last year, picked up 12 ground balls and generally beat up and bruised whatever attacker was unlucky enough to face him come game day.
Nick Brozowski will return to help Corley out on defense as one of Maryland’s top returning LSM’s. Last season he forced 8 turnovers and picked up 37 gb’s while appearing in all 17 games.
Roman Puglise and Thomas O’Connell, two short-stick defenders also come back, so despite losing a couple high quality poles, the Terps bring back enough pieces that they should be just fine on the defensive side of the ball.
Maryland also drew Brett Makar, a beast defender from Yorktown that I would expect will see some time as a first-year, possibly start at close defense. Makar was the #4 overall high school player in the country and the #2 defender as ranked by Inside Lacrosse. They have 3 other freshman defenders that were high school All-Americans, so even though they lost a lot on the defensive end of the field, they return a bunch of contributors from last years team, and brought in a load of talent.
Maryland loses Dan Morris, a very capable net-minder, and it’s tough to say who will get the start in 2019. I have a feeling we may see Danny Dolan getting the start, but Andrew Morris, a former #23 overall recruit is also on the roster. Morris didn’t see any game action last year and Dolan did, although barely. So they have options in cage.
AT THE FACE-OFF X?
Face-off men are like gold in lacrosse, and Justin Shockey, yet another sophomore that will be expected to lead this team is one of the best in the country. As a first-year he won 55% of his draws and scored 2 goals with 4 assists on the season. Austin Henningsen took 182 draws and was MD’s starting FOGO prior to Shockey rolling into town, so they have two very capable face-off specialists, both of whom win at least 51% of their draws.