By Josh Schmidt, Maryland Athletics Intern
May 29, 2017 is a day that will forever live in Maryland men's lacrosse history after the program won its first title in 42 years in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
For the 2018 team, however, that date is in the rear view mirror as it embarks on a new journey this season.
“Instead of being complacent and happy with what we’ve done, I have scrutinized even harder,” Tillman said. “I have forced myself to look at some ways we want to be different, researched and looked at people who won championships and what they did next.”
The Terps would be the first team since Duke in 2014-15 to win back-to-back National Championships.
The No. 1 Terps open their season on Saturday against in-state rival Navy. Tillman’s squad will be able to find their rhythm at the beginning of the season with five of their first six games at Maryland Stadium.
On Tuesday, Tillman spoke at Spring Media Day about preparing for yet another title run with a revamped roster.
The roster turnover includes replacing Matt Rambo, Isaiah Davis-Allen, Tim Muller and Colin Heacock who were all drafted in the Major League Lacrosse 2017 Draft. Now, the Terps will be led by upperclassmen like Connor Kelly and Dan Morris.
“We may have graduated some really terrific guys, but we’ve got some great leadership here in College Park across out entire roster,” Tillman said.
So the Terps aren’t a young roster, just one that needs other players to step up to replace some of the most prolific scorers in program history. Kelly, who switched his number to the infamous #1, will be one of those players looked upon to fill Rambo’s void.
Kelly scored 46 goals last season as a junior which set the school record for goals by a midfielder.
“This is an elite program where everybody wants to beat you,” Kelly said. “As a competitor and athlete, that’s what I want. I am looking forward to those matchups this season. We’re very much aware of who we are.”
With the pieces still in place to have a great season, Tillman is ready to begin the season on Saturday and get the journey started.
“We’re not satisfied with one championship. Our goal is to have a great program as far as academics, player and social development and finding available internships and jobs for our players. We want to have a great program, a model program.”