No one player makes – or breaks – a team. That is especially true for No. 11 Maryland, where the concept of team is emphasized in nearly every comment from the players and coach John Tillman.
John Haus is one of the Terps who fully endorses that model. But if anyone is looking to cast blame for the team’s recent offensive woes, the senior midfielder is prepared to absorb the criticism.
“I think all over, we’ve been low in production. As a senior, I take some of that on my shoulders,” he said Tuesday. “We need to score more to win games. It’s starting to get to that time where people are continuing to scout and get better. Defenses are evolving and they’re getting better as the season goes along. … [O]verall, our output is not acceptable here, and we need to continue to get better and put up more goals. Our defense is playing outstanding right now, and they’re the backbone of our team. So we need to keep improving.”
Maryland (9-3) currently ranks 16thin Division I in scoring, averaging 11.3 goals this season. But the offense has averaged just six goals in its last three contests, which include a 7-4 loss to then-No. 15 Johns Hopkins on April 13, an 8-7 decision against No. 14 Yale on April 20 and a 13-6 setback to Virginia last Friday.
Perhaps coincidentally, Haus has hit a personal drought over the same stretch of games. He did not record a single point against the Blue Jays and Bulldogs and scored just one goal against the Cavaliers in the semifinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
The recent run of ineffectiveness is not lost on Haus. “I would say that maybe my production hasn’t been that high in the past three games, but I would say that it hasn’t been the same as past years,” he said. “For me, taking the pole or having people slide quickly to me, that opens up opportunities for other people, and I like to think that by doing that, other people benefit from that.”
Haus began the season on a torrid streak, racking up seven goals and seven assists in his first four games. With 15 goals and nine assists, he still ranks fourth on the team in points, but he’s not filling up the stat sheet as he once did.
Tillman, however, said he is not worried about Haus.
“John’s a very unselfish guy, and if he’s getting more attention, he’s going to make the extra pass or move the ball,” Tillman said. “A lot of times in college lacrosse, you’ve got to hope that some of those guys are willing to get the hockey assists. Maybe you draw the double and then you move it and move it and maybe good things happen. We look at the way we play, and we’re just hoping that we can generate good shots and opportunities. We’re not as concerned about who’s getting those goals because if they’re giving extra attention to certain players, that opens things up for other people. Sometimes it’s going to be John that’s the benefactor of that and other times, it’s going to be other people. But I know John Haus is an unselfish guy, and he’s going to make the right play. And when push comes to shove, John does so much more than just score for us.”Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun