Michael Adler has played in 15 of 16 games for the Maryland men’s lacrosse team, but with senior Bryce Young, junior Curtis Corley and sophomore Jack Welding entrenched as the starting defensemen, Adler has been waiting patiently to contribute to the squad’s success.
The senior transfer from UMass Lowell pounced on an opportunity Sunday, rotating with senior Matt Neufeldt at long-stick midfielder in the top-seeded Terps’ 14-11 win against visiting Robert Morris in a NCAA Division I tournament first-round game at Maryland Stadium.
Adler finished with one ground ball and one assist, and both occurred on the same play. Sophomore faceoff specialist Trey Arnold won a faceoff in the second quarter, but was stripped by Young. Adler scooped up the loose ball, carried it into the offensive zone, and passed to senior midfielder Connor Kelly, who buried his shot from the left wing to trim a 4-1 deficit to 4-2 with 11:19 remaining.
Coach John Tillman praised Adler’s play.
“I thought Michael did a pretty good job,” Tillman said. “Michael does so much for us in so many different ways. He’s a guy that walked on and has worked so hard. I remember his first year. He would be working out twice a day. He’d be working out in the morning, and then you’d see him later in the day back near the locker room and be working on his stick. He’s a tireless worker. He’s really well-liked by his teammates. So he’s developed into a really important player for us. So I’m really happy for him.
“When Michael makes a play, I think it gives us a little more energy just because he’s so beloved and he’s so respected for how hard he works.”
Adler, who started the first three games of the season while Young recovered from an unspecified injury, shared time with Neufeldt at long-stick midfielder because junior Nick Brozowski has been hampered by injury.
“Nick got banged up in the Rutgers game, and he tried to go against Hopkins and just didn’t finish the game,” Tillman said, referring to the team’s games in the Big Ten tournament on May 3 and 5. “We wanted to see how it went this week, and he just wasn’t quite ready. So we used Michael more, and again, I thought Michael did a really good job. So we’ll see how [Brozowski] is for next week.”