Maryland offense no longer star-driven

For the last three years and change, Maryland’s offense was built on the star-studded attack of Grant Catalino, Ryan Young and Travis, and that trio helped the team reach the national title game last season.

Those three may be gone, but the Terps’ offensive production hasn’t slowed one bit.

The unit has scored a total of 28 goals in two games, including 16 in a five-goal win against Georgetown Friday night. And while senior attackman Joe Cummings led the way with four goals, the team watched 10 different players finish with at least one goal each.

That’s the kind of production Maryland is counting on this season, according to Cummings.

“We challenge ourselves to be the best offense we can be,” said the Towson native and Loyola graduate, who is tied for the team lead in goals (four) and ranks second in points (seven). “Our slogan all the time is, ‘To be the best.’ So that’s enjoying the process. Every day, we go out to practice and try to put ourselves in a great position to play well and play fast and play tough. … I think that showed today, and I’m proud of the guys and I’m proud of the whole offense.”

This year’s Terps offense is built on a share-the-wealth philosophy. Cummings and juniors Owen Blye and Billy Gribbin may start, but sophomore Sean McGuire and freshmen Jay Carlson and Rustin Bryant see considerable time.

Similarly, senior Drew Snider, junior John Haus and redshirt sophomore Mike Chanenchuk compose the first midfield, but senior Michael Shakespeare, juniors Kevin Cooper and Landon Carr, and freshman Kevin Forster rotate in frequently.

“That’s what’s been fun about this team. We have no egos,” coach John Tillman said. “I think everybody realized that with what we lost from last year, everybody was going to have to share and buy in and do their part. To get some guys like Rustin and Sean McGuire and Jay Carlson in there, I think it really helps. It helps rest some of the other guys, but it also means we’re getting some of the guys that maybe aren’t getting the ball during the week – maybe they’re doing scout work – they’re playing and now that makes our week of practice that much better because everybody feels like a part of it.”

UPDATE: Cummings was credited with four goals, not three as initially awarded. Shakespeare, who was credited with his first career hat trick on Friday night, lost one of those goals to Cummings. Both players informed Maryland spokesman Patrick Fischer of the discrepancy, and the change was made early Saturday morning.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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