The Maryland Terps lacrosse squad has been “rinsing and repeating for some time” and for the last few years going into the off-season it was pretty clear who would be leading this team offensively. After Chanenchuk it was Matt Rambo. After Rambo it was Connor Kelly. After Kelly it was Jared Bernhardt. After Bernhardt it was Logan Wisnauskas. Every year, despite whatever losses they were going to have to face, they had a guy that was an obvious choice for “next man up” on the offensive side of the field.

This season, it’s not exactly clear who’s going to be wearing ye old #1. For the first time in a long while, the Terps are losing their top 4 leading scorers, all put up 53 points or more, and Wisnauskas had a whopping 103 points.

I haven’t mentioned the defensive side of the ball because once again, the Terps return a WEALTH of talent on the defensive side of the ball. So no worries there.

But let’s play a new game I’m going to call, Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue. Via that lens, I’ll rip through and will take a deep dive into “what’s next” for the Maryland lacrosse program.

SOMETHING OLD (Returning Players)

Luke Wierman
Senior, Faceoff

Credit: Maryland Athletics

Wierman was this team’s MVP in my opinion. He was an absolute beast at the faceoff dot. He faced some other killers throughout the season and usually fared well.  Phaup vs Syracuse, 13-of-27. Sandoval vs Princeton, 19-of-27. LaSalla vs Virginia, 24-of-36 during the regular season and 20-of-29 in the NCAA tournament. Tommy Burke vs Vermont, 16-of-19, that one was a huge surprise to most as Burke is one of the best in the game. What we’ve learned is Luke Wierman is also now one of the best in the game, and in my opinion he was the best faceoff guy in the land last season.

Stats:

  • .661 (298-of-451)
  • 160 gbs
  • 9g, 8a off 22 shots
  • 13 turnovers, 8 caused turnovers
  • 1st team AA (IL), 2nd team AA (USALM)
  • B1G Specialist of the Year

Brett Makar
5th Year Senior/Graduate, Defense

Credit: Maryland Athletics

Very solid, grinder of a defender.  You can ask him to do a lot of things on the defensive side of the ball, and he’ll be more than proficient in most scenarios.  Has a low base, great feat, can match up with quick guys and his 6-1/205 frame allows his to guard bigger dodgers as well.  Teams will mostly avoid dodging on him in 2023, although that will end up being more difficult with the emergence of Ajax Zappitello.

Stats:

  • 15 caused turnovers
  • 32 groundballs
  • 1g, 2a off 5 shots

Predicted 2023 Stats

Makar will likely get “capped” statistically due to teams avoiding him more often than they were able to in 2022. So I don’t expect huge statistical improvements from Makar, but I do expect his impact on the game to go up by a large margin, even if that is simply because whoever he matches up with will avoid dodging on him at times.

  • 16 to 18 caused turnovers
  • 34+ groundballs
  • 2 to 4 points

Logan McNaney
Senior, Goalie

Credit: Maryland Athletics

I love this kids game. Patient and calm between the pipes with very good hands.  Doesn’t have a huge step, but his feet are solid and his instincts are excellent. Has been above .520 in each of the last two seasons and in 2022 stopped the shots he faced at a 59.7% clip which goes beyond what you would normally ask of a goalie. Meaning, this kid is good, and changes the course of a game on his own.

He did exactly that over the course of the B1G and NCAA tournaments. Was above 60% in every tournament game he played in 2022.  60% vs Hopkins and Rutgers in the B1G tournament. 78% vs Vermont, 63% vs UVA, 73% vs Princeton and 70% vs Cornell across the Terps 4 NCAA tournament wins.

Had he not had a couple of down games during the regular season (all Maryland wins regardless of his day), he’d probably have ended up a first team AA instead of HM, but I’m sure he’s happier with a title and there is always 2023 to pick up legit AA accolades.

Stats:

  • .597 SV%
  • 8.44 GAA
  • 18-0 Record

Predicted 2023 Stats:

I expect for McNaney’s game impact to remain very high, while also seeing a dip in his stats. The dip in stats will largely be due to the fact there is no way the Maryland offense will be as efficient as last season which will change the types of action he sees over the course of a game, probably putting a lot more pressure on him and the defense.

  • .570 SV%
  • 9.3 GAA
  • 16 wins

John Geppert
5th Year Senior/Graduate, LSM

Credit: Maryland Athletics

Very solid LSM, scrappy when the ball is on the turf. Solid wing player and helped Wierman quite a bit. Anytime a faceoff guy has the kind of season Wierman had, you automatically assume he benefited from great wing play, and thanks to Geppert, that was true.

Not going to take the ball away a ton, partly because he’s not a monster takeaway guy, but he’s solid enough that teams avoid him which partly contribute to his lower takeaway totals.

He’s a danger in the open field.  Has 8g, 5a on his career and put up 5g with a dish on 2022 off 14 shots.

Stats:

  • 13 caused turnovers
  • 52 groundballs
  • 8g, 5a off 14 shots
  • HM AA

Predicted 2023 Stats:

I think Geppert will see a slight increase in his overall stats across the board and the only reason he won’t see a larger increase in caused turnovers will be due to teams avoiding him where possible.  I think he’ll have a lot more chances to get offensive looks due to Maryland playing a lot more defense than in 2022, so I expect the biggest stat increase to come in the form of goals and assists.

  • 15 to 18 caused turnovers
  • 65+ groundballs
  • 6 to 8 points

Ajax Zappitello
Junior, Defense

This kid faced a lot of dodges in 2022 and held up well.  He was often the guy teams tested over the course of 2022 because Maryland was so deep defensively, and he held up admirably time and time again.  His forced turnover numbers (27) are incredible for a kid that hadn’t started a game until this season.  He did play in 15 games over the 2021 season, but managed to start all 18 games in 2022.

Not a big guy, just 5-11/170, but has a powerful base, quick feat, and very quick hands.  Will need to have another huge year in 2023 in order for Maryland not to lose a bit of a step defensively.  He’s going to be asked to match up with slightly better competition in this upcoming season, so how he handles that will greatly impact Maryland on the defensive side of the ball.

In my opinion, he’ll hold up just fine.  I love this kid’s energy on the field.

Stats:

  • 27 caused turnovers
  • 26 groundballs
  • 1g, 3a off 5 shots
  • 3rd team AA

Predicted 2023 Stats:

I think we’ll see slight upticks in all of his point totals.  He will still get tested a lot in 2023 due to his size and that will generate a lot of chances to take the ball away, something he got really good at in 2022.  As stated prior, Maryland will be playing a lot more defense this upcoming season, so he’ll be able to up stats across the board.

  • 25 to 28 caused turnovers
  • 35+ groundballs
  • 4 to 6 points

Kyle Long
5th Year Senior/Graduate, Midfield

Midfielder Kyle Long (23) #2 Maryland Terrapins vs. High Point Panthers at Maryland Stadium in College Park, MD on Saturday, Feb 5, 2022. Zach Bland/Maryland Terrapins

Incredible midfielder that you can rely on to generate offense for himself and others. Very proficient dodger, can work the alley, wings and can get underneath his man on wings.  Capable in the invert as well.

Keeps his head up, so you always have to keep on his hands and that makes him a bit more dangerous because if you’re staying focused on his hands, for most defenders, that will decrease how effective they are with their feet.

Will draw a lot of poles in 2023, so from a statistical standpoint, it may be tough to greatly increase his point totals, UNLESS he improves his shooting percentage which was the lowest out of all of the top Terp scorers.

The one stat I don’t like with Long, he put 65% of his shots on cage, which is a very solid stat, but only scored 28% of those shots.  That’s indicative of a guy that is making a goalies life too easy.

Stats:

  • 17g, 25a, 42 points
  • 28.3% shooting, 65% on cage
  • 15 groundballs
  • 13 turnovers
  • HM AA (IL)

Predicted 2023 Stats:

My worry with Long is that with a lot less help around him, his life in 2023 isn’t going to get any easier.  He’s going to face lots of poles, and his already poor shooting percentage will be tough to improve upon without a lot of work due to all the added attention he’ll get next season. I’ll think he’ll improve upon his 2022 point totals due to more chances, but the all important stat for Long in 2023 will be that shooting percentage.

  • 45+ points
  • 27% shooting
  • 20+ groundballs
  • 17+ turnovers

Daniel Maltz
Senior, Attack

Credit: Maryland Athletics

I heard all season how Bubba Fairman took one for the team by moving to SSDM after having a big season offensively in 2021.  Well more people should have been talking about how the same thing happened with Maltz, to an even greater degree.

Maltz put up 40 goals and 10 helpers while finishing the rock at a 52.6% clip in 2021. That’s 50 points as a sophomore starting all 16 games alongside Bernhardt and Wisnauskas.  In 2022 he was asked to come off the bench and play a supporting roll.  He played in 17 of the Terps 18 games, didn’t start in any of them, but still put up 10 goals and 7 assists.

For me, Maltz is perhaps the most important player returning to this team in 2023.  Losing Wisnauskas is a brutal blow and his off-ball prowess is legendary.  Maltz is going to more than likely be asked to step back into that “off ball” roll he played in 2021.

I believe the reason he lost his starting spot to Malever was due to the loss of Bernhardt.  In 2021, Bernhardt was one of the best dodgers on planet earth, so it only made sense to surround him with two of your best “off ball” guys.  Maryland needed to make up for the loss of Bernhardt’s dodging ability, so Kahn and Malever made more sense on a line with Wisnauskas, as both were more legit dodging threats.

Stats:

  • 10g, 7a, 17 points
  • 41.7% shooting, 66.7% on cage
  • 4 groundballs
  • 11 turnovers

Predicted 2023 Stats:

  • 45+ points
  • 42% shooting, 64% on cage
  • 13+ groundballs
  • 15+ turnovers

Eric Malever
Junior, Attack

Stats:

  • 26g, 22a, 48 points
  • 40% shooting, 66.7% on cage
  • 4 groundballs
  • 11 turnovers

Predicted 2023 Stats:

Will be expected to shoulder a much heavier load offensively.  Should do well, and should see an improvement across all of his stats except for his shooting percentage. With added attention comes a tougher time getting off quality shots, so this is the stage of a players career where you usually see a dip in shooting effectiveness, while point totals will still increase greatly due to added looks.

  • 58+ points
  • 38% shooting, 53% on cage
  • 8+ groundballs
  • 15+ turnovers

Owen Murphy
Junior, Attack/Midfield

The Hopkins transfer played a huge role as a shooter for the Terps in 2022.  The kid scored 34 goals off 84 shots (40.5% shooting).  He scored 4 man up goals, and I think he’ll really shine for the Terps in 2023 in that capacity.  But I’m not 100% sure where we’ll see him run.  Probably more midfield and maybe some attack runs as well.

Stats:

  • 34g, 5a, 39p
  • 40.5% shooting, 60% on cage
  • 4 man up goals, 3 game winning goals
  • 9 groundballs
  • 18 turnovers

Predicted 2023 Stats:

  • 48+ points
  • 39% shooting, 58% on cage
  • 3+ man up goals
  • 10+ groundballs
  • 20+ turnovers

SOMETHING BORROWED (Transfers)

Donovan Lacey
Senior/Graduate, SSDM, Sacred Heart

Credit: Sacred Heart Athletics

A kid that got time as a freshman for Sacred Heart and has made a solid impact each year since. Incredible frame, 6-3, 205, strong, fast and gets up and down the field as well as any defensive midfielder.

Will be HUGE as the Terps try and deal with the loss of Roman Puglesi and Bubba Fairman as short stick defenders with two-way capabilities.

Potentially has two years of eligibility left as it appears he may be listed as a “graduate transfer”, but he only has 3 year sunder his belt INCLUDING COVID, meaning he could have 2 years left depending on how things rolled.

  • 1st Team All NEC in 2021
  • Appeared in all 13 games w/ 11 starts
  • 3g, 3a off 21 shots
  • 14 caused turnovers (led team)
  • 42 gbs (2nd on team)
  • Career, 9g, 5a, 82gb, 33 caused turnovers

Donal Mullane
Graduate, Attack, Bowdoin

Credit: Bowdoin Athletics

We may not know who will be wearing #1 for the Terps, but one thing I do know is that Donal Mullane is going to fit in nicely. Never hurts when you add an attackman that nailed down conference player of the year and put up 105 points. 

Could very well end up playing a Keegan Khan like role in 2023. Statistically they are very similar, Khan was a 1.25 to 1 goal to assist guy.  For scouts and coaches, a statline like that often indicates you’re dealing with a triple threat kind of guy that can (a) score goals off the dodge, (b) feed teammates off the dodge and (c) score goals off ball and in the open field.

Mullane finished the 2022 season for Bowdoin right in that area, 1.25 to 1 and every team wants to have one of their three attackmen, maybe two, in that area depending on the teams offensive strategy.

And he did this while playing D3 ball for #9 Bowdoin. He faced 7 top-20 teams.  Went for 17 points in two games against Tufts (both losses).  12 points in two games against Amherst.  Missed three games due to injury and I think he missed most of the win over Colorado College in the first round.  Missed the big win over St. Lawrence in the second round, and missed the loss to RIT, could have really changed that game.

I say all of this because I think you’ll see this kid do big things at the D1 level this year. I’m not willing to predict an outright point total, but I’m pretty confident he’s going to be a 30+ point guy and if he ended up dropping 50 points give or take a few I wouldn’t be surprised.

Teddy Dolan
Redshirt Senior, Goalie, Binghamton

Credit: Binghamton Athletics

I’m not sure where Dolan fits in with McNaney returning and I was surprised he chose Maryland as there were some top 30 teams that could have used a starting goalie.  But a huge pickup either way for the Terps as he will add depth to a position they already have a returning national champ.

SOMETHING NEW (Incoming Guys)

I’m not sure there are many guys from the 2022 high school class that are going to hop onto the field and play huge rolls for the Terps in 2022. The reason is mostly because despite their graduation losses, they are still loaded with talent.

Guys that have the best chance to get some time…

#5 Will Schaller (LSM), Geppert being the big cat LSM will limit Schaller’s chances, but LSM is a position you can usually afford to get some young guys reps, especially on the faceoff wings. So being that Schaller is so highly rated, mixed with the fact his position tends to see a lot of young guys contribute, I think he’ll probably impact 2023 in some small way.

#6 AJ Larkin (Defense), I figure you may see something similar with Larkin. Another highly rated 5-star recruit, I expect him to find his way onto the field here and there, but I don’t expect any type of breakout or anything.

And that’s it. Other than those two guys, I don’t expect you’ll see any freshman get on the field. The Terps only other 5-star recruit from the 2022 class, goalie Brian Ruppel has both McNaney and Dolan in front of him, so I don’t think he’ll see the field for a while.

SOMETHING BLUE (Off Redshirt or Injury)

I’ll add to this section as the 2023 season approaches. I’m not sure who they red-shirted off hand or who will may have missed 2022 that could be back adding depth and production.