Maryland didn’t fire the first salvo, but may have fired the most significant one when it upended reigning national champion and top-ranked Loyola, 12-10, on Saturday. The Terps will likely move into the top spot of virtually every poll in the lacrosse community (including The Sun’s) and will be regaled all week as the team to beat in Division I – until they visit No. 12 Duke this Saturday.
That’s all well and good, but Maryland is doing its best to take the 3-0 start in stride.
“It’s only one game,” coach John Tillman said. “It’s still February. So there’s a lot of work to do. Yet, to play an awesome team like Loyola in a great environment and to get a W, I’m really proud of the kids.”
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Senior defenseman Michael Ehrhardt agreed, saying, “It’s just another game on the schedule. That’s how we treated it. As [senior midfielder] John [Haus] said, it’s two completely different teams, it’s a new year. It’s only the beginning of the season and it’s just another game under our belt.”
The Terps’ next opponent, the Blue Devils, is just 2-3 thus far and has dropped its last two contests, including a 14-9 loss Friday night to a Penn team that hadn’t yet played in 2013. But Tillman pointed out that outside of a 5-1 first quarter against the Greyhounds, Maryland either scored the same number of goals or fewer goals than Loyola did in the remaining three periods.
“What’s concerning is we won one quarter,” he said. “You win one quarter, you’re not going to win a whole lot of games. So that’s something we’ve really got to look at. And the same thing with faceoffs. After doing very well last year in the championship game, we didn’t do as well this year. So we’ve got some things we’ve got to go back and look at. … I know how good Duke is and how talented they are. We can’t feel too good about ourselves on Monday. The kids can enjoy it tonight. They worked hard and they deserve it. but back to work for the coaches on Sunday and Monday. It’s time to move on because I know that Duke’s an excellent team.”