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Maryland lacrosse's Pat Young wanted more and found it after transferring from UMBC

Maryland midfielder Pat Young, left, holds off Ohio State defenseman Chris Mahoney in the first half.
Maryland midfielder Pat Young, left, holds off Ohio State defenseman Chris Mahoney in the first half. (Steve Ruark / For The Baltimore Sun)

Soon after Maryland defeated High Point, 15-10, in the 2016 season opener in lacrosse, Terps offensive coordinator J.L. Reppert had a meeting with senior midfielder Pat Young.

At UMBC, where Young had spent the previous three seasons, he was the star. He had a green light to go to the goal basically whenever he wanted. There were no shots he didn't like, and few opportunities he turned down.

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But on this cold, winter day in February, the Terps blew out High Point and Young had zero goals and zero assists. He took just one shot and the highlight of his statistics was collecting a ground ball.

"He reminded me to trust him, to stick with the game plan," Young said. "He told me they we were going to need me at the end of the year when other teams run out of gas because of the depth we have. I'm a big believer in staying with the plan and I guess the Syracuse game was what Coach was talking about."

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On May 21, Young scored four goals in the Terps' 13-7 quarterfinal win over Syracuse. He was the Young of old, the big 6-foot-1, 205-pound middie with the quick jab step to break an ankle off a split dodge. And then came the hard, right-handed shot.

So as the Terps prepare to meet Brown on Saturday in an NCAA Division I semifinals, the Bears have to find a way to stop Maryland attackmen Matt Rambo, Colin Heacock, Dylan Maltz and midfielders Bryan Cole and Connor Kelly.

And of course there is Young, who has added another dimension to Maryland's offense this season. He gives the Terps' second midfield a top scoring threat and that's not always something even top programs possess.

"It's an advantage for Maryland that he's on that second midfield," ESPN analyst Paul Carcaterra said. "Pat Young at UMBC was used to dodging a pole every single game. So he's creating opportunities now for those other guys on the second midfield to make plays. Those guys would have had trouble dodging a pole, but now they don't have to worry about that because Pat Young can handle that.

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"Maryland essentially has two midfields and a second midfield that is not just window dressing. They're out there to make plays and they're real strong offensive players."

Playing on the second midfield was a trade-off Young was willing to make this season. He had great success at UMBC, scoring 54 goals over his sophomore and junior seasons, but the Retrievers weren't even close to winning the America East Conference much less securing a bid to the NCAA Division I tournament.

Young wanted more. Nearly a year ago, he asked then-UMBC coach Don Zimmerman for his release and he visited Rutgers, Virginia and Maryland before making a decision. The process caused Young some anguish, but he said it was something he thought about and prayed over quite a bit.

"The toughest part of the whole process was the meeting with Coach Zimmerman," Young said. "We have a really good relationship and he showed me a lot of tough love, the kind I was raised on and used to getting at home. I was fortunate to play for such a legend.

"But I wanted something that was bigger than me. I wanted to be part of a tradition. I wanted to go to a place where they had a chance to play in the final four and get a shot at a national championship. So, I can't say it was an adjustment to be on the second midfield. I kind of expected it because of the overall talent at Maryland."

Young apparently left his pride on the Catonsville campus at UMBC. He fits in well with the Terps, a team with a blue-collar approach to the game. In fact, Young is one of the most well-liked players on the team.

He is smart and extremely positive. Whenever the Terps have struggled, he remains upbeat. He could have possibly started on the first midfield, but his presence on the second has lifted that unit and made it much easier on his linemates, Lucas Gradinger (six goals, three assists) and Tim Rotanz (nine goals and seven assists).

Young, who has 15 goals and five assists this season, was never really a new kid on the block.

"He is a very positive guy and that trickles down," said Cole, Young's roommate for away games. "It seems like he has been here for four years. He just kind of slid into the chemistry we have going. With transfers, you don't know what you're going to get. But he has been a tremendous asset."

Said Maryland coach John Tillman: "It's always hard to be the first-year guy, and I am sure he has been frustrated at times with the scheme, the way we do drills or whatever because it was new to him. But his approach has really been about this program being bigger than him, and he wanted to fill whatever role necessary to help us win."

Young has challenged himself and succeeded playing again better competition in the Big Ten, and against Maryland's nonconference schedule, which included North Carolina and Notre Dame.

He has had to bring his best every week. But on Saturday, it's different. A Ewing, N.J., native, he gets to play in front of a lot of home fans at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

"We have a ton of talent here and have been working hard to get to this point, and now it's just another day of work," Young said. "Ever since I came here, my teammates have welcomed me with opened arms. I wanted to be a part of something like this, and it's finally happening. It all has worked out well."

For both Young, and Maryland.

twitter.com/MikePrestonSun

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