Jack Welding has started all 17 games on close defense for the Maryland men’s lacrosse team, but he took some of the spotlight Sunday. The sophomore’s ability to face-guard standout sophomore attackman Jeff Teat played a significant role in the top-seeded Terps’ 13-8 victory over Cornell in an NCAA Division I tournament quarterfinal game at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis. Welding talked about the strategy against Teat, his first year as a full-time starter and his partnership with fellow starting defensemen Bryce Young and Curtis Corley.
Jack, you had the assignment of following Jeff Teat. What was your mindset heading into the matchup?
I knew he was a great player. Obviously, we shut him off, so he’s obviously a great player. My mindset was to just try to stay in front of him, keep my chest to his chest, and obviously not let him be good.
How unusual was the task for you?
It was pretty unusual. It was my first time doing that obviously. But that was my assignment for the week. So obviously, I got to come up to the challenge and play well.
How meaningful is it for you to play as well as you did and to limit him to zero goals and only two assists?
It was pretty cool. Obviously, it wasn’t just me. My whole entire team was helping me. [Freshman attackman] Kyle Brickerd actually this week prepared me pretty well. So it was pretty cool, and I’m glad we all played well today.
What’s it like for you being a first-time starter?
It’s actually one of the coolest experiences ever. Going out in the crowd, the crowd was crazy today in our state capital, Annapolis. It was awesome, there was energy in the stands, it was really cool to play them.
How instrumental have Curtis Corley and Bryce Young been for you on defense?
They make me such a better player. Every time I come off the field or I’m on the field, if I’ve got a question, they answer right away. It’s just awesome. I wouldn’t be where I am without them. So they’re a huge help on the field.