Dylan Maltz of Maryland men's lacrosse prepping for reunion with Syracuse on Saturday

Maryland attackman Dylan Maltz (25), who was credited with the assist, puts his arm behind attack Colin Heacock (2) after he scored the seventh goal against Penn State during the Big Ten semifinals at Homewood Field. The Terps shelled Penn State, 16-9, to advance to the finals.

Like many of his teammates on top-seeded Maryland, Dylan Maltz has a healthy respect for No. 8 seed Syracuse, the 10-time NCAA champion awaiting the Terps in Saturday's NCAA tournament quarterfinal at 12 p.m. at Brown Stadium in Providence, R.I.

Unlike his teammates, Maltz has intimate knowledge of Syracuse (12-4) as he spent his freshman year with the Orange in 2014. He played in six games, posting three goals and one assist.


But Maltz insisted that his approach to Saturday's game hasn't changed from the previous 17 Maryland (15-2) has played thus far.

"We're just playing like it's another game," he said. "Playing hard, playing focused, that's what's going to get us a win."


When pressed on the topic, Maltz replied, "I think it's exciting. I know a lot of guys on the team, and I think it's going to be fun seeing them. But once I step on the field, I think it's just going to be like any other game."

The 2014 campaign was a prime opportunity for Maltz to play with his older brother Derek Jr. -- a team co-captain in his final two years -- and meet friends like long-stick midfielder Scott Firman and midfielders Joe DeMarco, Nick Weston and Ryan Simmons. Maltz's father Derek Sr. also played for Syracuse from 1983 to 1985 and was a member of the program's 1983 team that captured the NCAA Division I championship.

But after last season, Maltz chose to transfer for reasons he did not articulate.

"It was a very difficult decision," he said. "It took a lot of time and thought. But in the end, I'm here at Maryland now, and I'm very happy. I enjoyed my time my freshman year, and I'm looking forward to this opportunity."

After finishing with 11 goals and five assists in 18 starts last spring, Maltz has compiled 21 goals and eight assists in 17 starts this season. Maltz has developed chemistry with fellow junior attackmen Matt Rambo and Colin Heacock (Boys' Latin).

Terps coach John Tillman pointed out that the team has dealt with players clashing with former programs. Senior midfielder Henry West, who transferred from Cornell after the 2013 campaign, helped Maryland defeat the Big Red in the first round of the 2014 NCAA tournament. Redshirt senior long-stick midfielder Greg Danseglio, who left Virginia after the 2014 season, returned to Charlottesville for a scrimmage in February.

"We've dealt with that a little bit in the past, and I think the big thing is to try to allow the guys to focus on, 'Hey, you're a Terp. Let's focus on us. Let's not get too caught up in that,'" Tillman said. "I know I have great respect for Syracuse, and I know Dylan does, too. Obviously, it's a different situation for him. We want to make sure that he doesn't get too caught up in that or anybody does whenever that situation arises. I know he has a lot of passion for that place. He has a lot of friends up there still. He speaks very positively about Syracuse and the coaches and the players. So it'll be something we've just got to work through, but we've done that before."