Once populated by a trio of All Americans, Maryland’s attack has evolved into a group relying on sharing the wealth.
The No. 10 Terps – which advanced to the NCAA Tournament final last season on the strength of an attack that included Grant Catalino, Ryan Young and Travis Reed – demonstrated that approach in their 12-6 victory over No. 19 Hartford at Byrd Stadium in College Park Saturday.
The starting unit of senior Joe Cummings and juniors Owen Blye and Billy Gribbin (a Penn State transfer) combined for three goals, but the offense also got contributions from freshman Jay Carlson (two goals), freshman Rustin Bryant (one goal) and sophomore Sean McGuire (one assist).
Cummings, a Towson native and Loyola graduate, said that depth should be invaluable this season.
“I think on the offensive end, we can look to so many guys to really step up,” said Cummings, who scored one goal. “When they’re hot, we can say, ‘OK, you go to work.’ I think that’s a real credit to this team. It’s not about one guy or two guys. It’s about the entire team. We’re a very selfless team, and we’re tough, and we’re going to play for 60 minutes. That’s what it’s all about.”
Coach John Tillman was impressed with the play of the reserves.
“I think the good thing you saw was we saw a lot of different players at attack,” he said. “We had the starting three and then you saw Rustin come in, you saw Jay Carlson come in, you saw Sean McGuire come in. So that’s been great. We’ve had so many injuries. Some of the guys that were out here today actually haven’t practiced much. So it’s been hard. We’ve had a tough time getting continuity, getting guys comfortable in roles. We just haven’t practiced much, and it showed today.”
* After the game, senior midfielder Jake Bernhardt’s left arm was in a sling. Tillman did not disclose the exact diagnosis of Bernhardt’s injury and wasn’t sure if he would be able to return this spring. “Our hope is, let’s try to get him back as quickly as possible, and then we just make a decision,” Tillman said. “If it’s a month, that’s great. If it’s longer than that, then we’ll see how it goes. We’re in a weird spot where if it goes too long, eventually we would have to make a decision. Do we bring him back this year or do we just save him and try to get him back next year? Having his brother [junior long-stick midfielder Jesse Bernhardt] here is certainly an interesting dynamic. He certainly wouldn’t have a problem with that. We just want to make sure he’s safe and we take care of him. So the quicker he can get back, the better. And if it takes a little longer, it will.”
* Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Niko Amato finished with 12 saves, but one of his most important occurred in the first quarter when he stoned Hawks senior attackman Aidan Genik, who was standing alone near the left side of the crease. “We scouted them a lot, and we knew they have a lot of crafty inside guys,” Amato said. “So as soon as I saw the ball sail over the net, I just tried to follow the ball with my eyes. I saw the guy standing on the back pipe, and I knew it was going to be quick. So I just tried to get my stick out to the corner of the net and just happened to make the save.”
* Hartford’s run to the school’s first America East title and debut in the NCAA tournament was aided by the play of attackman Ryan Compitello, who led the team in assists (27) and finished second in points (49) last season. But Compitello did not register a single point against the Terps, who threw freshman defenseman Goran Murray at Compitello. “I’ll have to watch the film,” Hawks coach Peter Lawrence said. “I don’t know if he was erased by whoever covered him. Maybe whoever that was played great defense. But I know he didn’t have any stats, which was surprising. He’s usually a guy that can hopefully get us three to five points on a good day.”Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun