COLLEGE PARK – After an unexpected loss to in-state rival UMBC this week, the 4th-ranked Maryland men’s lacrosse team (3-1, 1-0 ACC) will try to bounce back when they host the Marist Red Foxes (2-0)on Saturday.
Senior captain Joe Cummings said he and his teammates sat in silence after the team was upset by a goal on Tuesday.“We weren’t happy with the way we played…We were all just trying to sit there and kind of contemplate what happened there in the fourth quarter,” he said.
Junior midfielder John Haus, who scored Maryland’s final goal in the 8-7 loss, said the team tightened up when the Retrievers took the lead in the fourth quarter. The Terps learned a valuable lesson about finishing games strong, he said.
“Even if we’re down a couple goals…we have plenty of time to come back and [need to] continue to play loose,” Haus said.
Against teams that hold the ball like UMBC, Maryland needs to do a better job taking advantage of limited possessions, he said.
“We can’t come down and try to take the first shot possible because we’re trying to get the best shot we can get,” Haus said.
Maryland head coach John Tillman said he deserved the blame for the loss because he did not do a good enough job preparing his team for a fired-up UMBC team.
“They were sky high. It’s the most important game on their schedule, and if you ask our guys what is the most important game on our schedule, I don’t think many people would say UMBC,” he said. “That is their Super Bowl.”
Tillman also pointed out that some players were distracted by exams and the team was emotionally spent after a big win over ACC rival Duke last week.
But, Tillman said, he didn’t want to make excuses or take anything away from UMBC. He gave credit to UMBC’s coaches and players because, “it would be unfair for me to do anything else.”
Tillman encouraged his players to get over the loss as quickly as possible.
“Don’t be sad, be mad, be determined, and do something about it,” he said, by beating Marsit at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Marist has only played two games so far this season.
“The long preseason gave us a lot of great practice time,” Marist rookie head coach Keegan Wilkinson said. “All those extra weeks to fine tune things.”
Wilkinson said their depth and talent at midfield really opens things up top for their attack, which averages 11 goals a game.
As with UMBC, Marist does not have much game film for Maryland’s coaching staff to study, making preparation a challenge.
“When we play teams, we’re on ESPN a lot, we’re on the Internet, so not only do [they] get faraway film; you’re getting replays, you can see guys up close, you can pick up a lot more,” Tillman said.
Marist, like the Terps, are playing for something bigger than themselves.
This season, the Red Foxes will wear #34 stickers on their helmets and jersey patches to honor their former teammate, Edward Coombs. Coombs, a freshman midfielder, died last August in a car accident in his hometown of Horsham Township, Penn.
The coaches will also pick one player to wear Coombs’ jersey during each game.
In similar fashion, Maryland dons a purple “MY” sticker on their helmets in memory of former All-American attack Ryan Young’s mother’s, who lost a battle with pancreatic cancer last year.