Hartford graduated just two starters from last year’s squad that went 11-7, knocked off Stony Brook in the America East tournament final, and advanced to its first NCAA Tournament.
On the flipside, Maryland bid farewell to five starters – including its entire starting defense – from the group that reached the national title game.
But when the No. 19 Hawks visit the No. 10 Terps Saturday in the season opener for both teams, Hartford coach Peter Lawrence said a win would qualify as an upset.
“I definitely think we’re the underdogs,” he said. “It’s a road game, they’re a team that was in the national championship last year, and again, I have a lot of respect for them. For us to go down there, I definitely think they’re the favored team. But we’re not going to go down there to say, ‘We can’t win this game.’ We’re going down there to win a lacrosse game, and we think we can be competitive with them. I think it’s just going to come down to whatever team executes at a high level, picks up more groundballs.”