Tillman's First Win as Maryland's Head Coach Comes Easy

Young. Image from laxmagazine.com.

Under new head coach John Tillman, the Maryland Men’s Lacrosse team overcame a shaky start to its 2011 season Saturday and finished with a predictable result, blowing out the University of Detroit Mercy Titans 16-4 in College Park.

Senior Ryan Young led the way for the Terps (1-0) with three goals and an assist. Junior Joe Cummings also had a hat trick, while Grant Catalino, Travis Reed and Drew Snider each contributed two goals. Sophomore John Haus notched a game-high 4 assists.

There was some panic early, as the Terps’ first goal six minutes into the game was nullified due to an illegal stick by Reed. Detroit Mercy (0-4) took advantage of the three-minute penalty by drawing first blood with goals from sophomore Chris Nemes and freshman Alex Maini. After Maini’s goal, the Titans had a 2-0 lead on the #4 team in the nation, much to the dismay of a stunned Byrd Stadium crowd. Maryland didn’t score their first goal of the season until 11 minutes, 54 seconds into the game, and they trailed 2-1 after the opening quarter.

However, the Terps made up for a lackluster start with an explosive second quarter and by half time they were in complete control of the contest. The turning point came midway through the second quarter, when Ryan Young’s three goals in three minutes put Maryland up 4-2. After that, things settled down and the Terps had their way with Detroit Mercy, as expected. Reed scored the game’s next two goals before assisting fellow senior Jake Bernhardt to make the score 7-2. Catalino, also a senior and the team’s leading scorer with 34 goals a year ago, closed the half with his first goal of 2011, giving Maryland an 8-2 lead at the break.

The Terps outscored Detroit 4-1 in both the third and fourth quarters, en route to the 16-4 victory. Senior Fran Gormley and sophomore Owen Blye both scored goals in the second half, and sophomore Landon Carr scored the first goal of his collegiate career. Players who contributed assists included Catalino, Reed, (Jake) Bernhardt, Blye, freshman Sean McGuire, senior Max Schmidt and junior Michael Shakespeare.

Tillman, who replaced Dave Cottle after last year’s team fell to Notre Dame in the NCAA tournament quarterfinals, notched his 21st career win as a head coach and his first as a Terrapin. Cottle was 99-46 during his tenure at Maryland (2002-2010), leading the Terps to eight NCAA tournament appearances and two of the three ACC tournament championships in program history. However, Cottle failed to ever get Maryland to the national championship game, something they felt like they were capable of last year. Expectations have remained high entering 2011, and while the Terps took their first positive step on Saturday, Tillman will ultimately be judged on whether or not he can improve upon Cottle’s postseason success and win a national championship.

Tags: Detroitmercytitans

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