The Maryland lacrosse team captured their first national title in 42 years on Memorial Day.
Despite the title being fresh, Inside Lacrosse released their “Way-Ahead 2018 Rankings” on Monday and the Terrapins came in at number two. Christian Swezey only had Duke ranked ahead of Maryland in the rankings.
The Terps are set to lose 52.9 percent of their scoring from their national championship group. All three attackmen (Matt Rambo, Colin Heacock, & Dylan Maltz) have graduated and combined to record 99 goals and 68 assists this past season.
Below is Swezey’s explanation for ranking Maryland second.
"“Getting to Championship Weekend is half the battle. And coach John Tillman’s 6-0 record in NCAA Quarterfinals, largely based on his team’s excellence at having a week to prepare for games, suggests the Terrapins won’t be strangers on the sport’s biggest stage. Several senior leaders need to be replaced, as do all three starting attackmen and a first-team All-American defenseman and SSDM. But there is talent waiting in the wings. And did we mention Maryland’s excellent recent record in NCAA Quarterfinals?”"
Swezey makes a great point when it comes to the Terps. It’s going be very difficult to replace what Maryland is losing, but there is talent ready to step up.
The one positive that the Terps have is that their entire midfielder group returns. Jared Bernhardt, Connor Kelly, and Tim Rotanz totaled 99 goals and 30 assists and each player registered at least 20 goals in 2017.
Kelly will likely step up and be the next great Maryland player as he exploded for 46 goals this season. He was arguably one of the most lethal midfielders in the country.
Louis Dubick and Timothy Monahan are two candidates that could start on attack despite not playing much since their arrival in College Park. Both were Under Armour All-Americans during their high school days, so they certainly have the pedigree to be very productive.
Maryland also returns two of their three starting defenders in Curtis Corley and Bryce Young. The duo combined to scoop up 59 ground balls and caused 18 turnovers in 2017.
There’s definitely a ton of talent to replace, but coach John Tillman certainly has the necessary ingredients waiting in the wings. If some of these new starters produce, the Terps could find themselves playing on Memorial Day weekend once again in 2018.