By Megan Smedley
Both Maryland Lacrosse teams fell to North Carolina in the National Championships last year, but the two teams still remain two of the best programs in the country, both starting the season off as the No. 2 ranked teams in their leagues.
Maryland Women’s Lacrosse will start the season in unfamiliar territory… without Taylor Cummings. All-American Cummings became the first three-time Tewaaraton Award Winner during her Maryland tenure. The award is given to the best female lacrosse player in the country. But that won’t deter the team who brings in one of the top recruiting classes in the country.
“It’s not about replacing these awesome players of the past but yet making the best of what we have and the opportunities that we have,” said head coach Reese.
Head Coach Cathy Reese is excited for the season to open up on Saturday.
“We just wanna be the best we can be,” said Reese. “We graduated some great players this year but I’ll tell you what. Our group that’s returning are hungry. They’re excited. They’re passionate. They’re enjoying this journey that they are on.”
Coach Reese says to look out for Megan Whittle, Caroline Wannen and newcomer Brindi Griffin on the attack while captain Zoe Stukenberg will control the midfield. Captain Nadine Hadnagy will control the defense with Megan Taylor in goal.
“She just makes me smile,” Reese said of Taylor. “She’s such a fantastic person and just an excellent goalkeeper. I told her today as we were walking out ‘I’m just so glad you’re on my team.”
Maryland Women’s Lacrosse will kickoff their season this Saturday at William and Mary.
The Maryland Men’s Lacrosse team will also be adjusting to a different lineup this year. Following the tough overtime loss to North Carolina in the National Championship, the team said goodbye to senior All-American goalie Kyle Bernlohr as well as captain defender Matt Dunn.
Luckily for the Terps, the dynamic attack duo of Matt Rambo and Colin Heacock will be back for their senior season. Rambo led the team with 43 goals. Heacock was not far behind with 42 goals including the game-winner against Brown in overtime to send the Terps to the National Championship.
“They’re guys that are really competitive, really hard on each other and themselves,” said All-American midfield Isaiah Davis-Allen. “They push each other to be better. But at the same time, they’re funny. They’re very outgoing. So it’s been kinda funny to see them as seniors.”
Also returning are Davis-Allen and last year’s breakout Connor Kelly, who had the third-most goals on the team with 31. Davis-Allen is looking forward to his senior season.
“I think that I am, as well as our team, is kind of a team that focuses more so on the process,” said Davis-Allen. “Not so much on the end result. So I think that if we improve each day, we’ll be at the spot that we want to be at the end of the season.”
The Men’s Lacrosse team kicks off their season against No. 11 Navy in Annapolis on Saturday, February 11.