Advertisement

Subtle differences may explain success of Maryland men's lacrosse in 2016 vs. previous years

Maryland's Ben Chisolm, right, takes a shot against Quinnipiac goalie Jack Brust in the fourth quarter. Maryland defeated the Quinnipiac Bobcats by score of 13 to 6 in 2016 NCAA men's lacrosse tournament.

In his five years as a member of the Maryland program, redshirt senior goalkeeper Kyle Bernlohr has been to four NCAA tournament semifinals. But this year's team – a group whose 16-2 record includes a 15-game win streak and the No. 1 seed in the postseason – is considered one of the deepest and best in school history, and Bernlohr said previous failures have solidified the players' resolve for Saturday's meeting with No. 5 seed Brown (16-2) at 2:30 p.m. at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

"I think there's just a raised level of commitment by everybody," he said Tuesday during the program's media day. "Over the past five years, we've gotten to the Final Four and said, 'This is it.' It makes you realize that it takes so much to get there and so much more to win a national championship. So we're a team that's kind of staying humbled and staying focused and just taking it one game at a time."

Advertisement

Coaches and players alike have heard outside observers call the Terps decided favorites to be the last team standing on Memorial Day, which would end a 41-year national title drought. But coach John Tillman said everyone associated with the program has tried to remain grounded after Saturday's 13-7 victory over No. 7 Syracuse in the quarterfinal round at Brown Stadium in Providence.

"We don't really get too far ahead of ourselves as a team," he said. "On Monday, we kind of did what we always do. Looked at the film of Saturday, tried to look at the mistakes we made, tried to clean some things up, tried to learn. … Now we're trying to get back to focus on Brown and try to better ourselves. Yeah, it's different, but really for us, the focus and approach is always the same for us – just trust the process."

Advertisement

Still, there's a quiet sense of calm at Maryland -- an attitude picked up by senior defenseman Matt Dunn.

"I think we're confident," the Towson resident and Loyola Blakefield graduate said. "We're very confident in each other's abilities. I think that confidence comes from just everybody buying in and a team discipline, trusting in each other that they're going to make the right play and not being concerned with personal statistics or anything like that. Everybody's focused on the same goal, which is playing the best we can on that day and getting the win."


Advertisement