It’s going to be tough for this version of the Maryland Terrapins to replicate what last year’s team was able to accomplish. The Terps, then led by Matt Rambo, Colin Heacock, Tim Muller and Isaiah Davis-Allen, delivered the first national championship in 40 years to College Park.
With the core of the 2017 team gone, Maryland went into this season with rising talent wanting to make the most of their opportunities. Names like Connor Kelly and Jared Bernhardt lead the offense, with Bubba Fairman and Logan Wisnauskas providing support along the way. On defense, Chris Corley, Jack Welding and Michael Adler have stepped in and done the job.
Through four games, Maryland is scoring more than last year (13.00) and allowed fewer goals (7.75). With wins over Navy, Marist, High Point and then-No. 17 Penn, the Terps have risen to the No. 1 ranking in the Nike/US Lacrosse Top 20.
So far, so good in Maryland’s encore act, but it gets a lot tougher on Saturday, when No. 5 Notre Dame comes to visit. The Fighting Irish have won four straight game against the Terps dating back to April of 2014.
NO. 5 NOTRE DAME AT NO. 1 MARYLAND
WHEN: SATURDAY, MARCH 3, 11 A.M.
Notre Dame has not played a ranked opponent, so Saturday’s game will be biggest it has played since Trevor Baptiste and Denver ended the 2017 season with a 16-4 blowout in the NCAA quarterfinals.
Back from last year is a veteran pair of attackmen Mikey Wynne and Ryder Garnsey. But fueling the success of Notre Dame’s offense so far has been its midfield, led by sophomore Bryan Costabile (7G, 2A) and Brendan Gleason (4G, 4A).
After a scare with Detroit Mercy to open the season, and a four-goal win over Richmond, Notre Dame is looking for a signature win before it hits ACC play. Luckily for the Irish, they’ll have a few chances. The matchup with Maryland starts a brutal stretch that includes another matchup with Denver (March 10) and Virginia (March 17).
Could we have a new No. 1 next week after an upset win by Notre Dame? Or is Maryland the team to beat in Division I men’s lacrosse once again?
By: Matt Hamilton of U.S. Lacrosse Magazine; repost by Todd M Schoenberger