Top-ranked Maryland’s 3-0 start has been highlighted by the offense’s production, but that output hasn’t been limited to just one player.
Three different players have led the team in goals in each of its wins. Redshirt senior midfielder Jake Bernhardt scored four goals in the season-opening 23-6 rout of Mount St. Mary’s, senior attackman Owen Blye scored five in a 16-4 thumping of Hartford, and senior midfielder John Haus scored four in Saturday’s 12-10 decision against reigning national champion Loyola.
Three different players have also led the offense in points in each of those contests. Senior attackman Kevin Cooper recorded six points against the Mountaineers, Cooper and Blye finished with five points each against the Hawks, and Haus posted five points against the Greyhounds.
The multiple threats on offense will make the Terps difficult to defend – a development that has to please coach John Tillman.
“We have good parts,” he said. “We have kids that buy into a team concept, guys that will work hard, guys that will share the ball, guys that will make the extra pass. They push themselves and they challenge themselves and they really buy into that, and that helps them improve as we go.”
In the victory over Loyola, Maryland also got some assistance from redshirt junior goalkeeper Niko Amato, who made a season-best 13 saves. Tillman was pleased by Amato’s performance, but he pointed out that the defense allowed the Greyhounds shooters to take that many attempts. That must change when the Terps visit Atlantic Coast Conference foe this Saturday, according to Tillman.
“We felt like Niko had to make a lot of saves,” he said. “We could have communicated better defensively at times. We needed to get back on defense a little better. We needed to defend some picks better. So those are things we’re going to have to work on this week. Looking at Duke, they do a lot of the things that Loyola does. They have arguably the best attack in the country and one of the best midfields in the country. Very athletic, highly recruited guys, very skilled. That attack, almost all three of them are going into their third year of starting. So they have a great feel for each other, they share the ball well, they shoot well. So they’re really going to force us to play better, communicate better, tighten down, play our skip lanes better, make slide decisions better. So it’s going to be a huge challenge for us.”Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun