Terps back to work after putting end to national championship drought

Posted at 4:55 PM, Jan 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-24 18:04:56-05

There’s an unfamiliar feeling around the Maryland men’s lacrosse team.  It’s the feeling that comes with defending a National Championship.

“As a team we met and we know we have the same goal but it’s a little different,” said Terps midfielder Tim Rotanz. “We don’t have that burden on our back.”

For the first time in 42 years the Terps are preparing for a season after winning it all.

“It was pretty cool to see how much it meant to people. I don’t think it has sunk in yet, the history of what we did,” added Rotanz.

“It meant a lot to people to celebrate and honor last year’s team and I wanted to make sure our guys enjoyed that moment,” said Terps Head Coach John Tillman. “Yet, at the same time, we had to balance this team staying focused and getting better.”

This year’s team returns five of the nine All-Americans from last year’s National Title squad.  Defender Bryce Young is one of them.

“To compare it to last year, I don’t think much has changed. I think it’s the next guy up,” said Young.

The Terrapins start this season where they left off last year. The Terps were ranked number one in the Preseason Coaches poll released on Tuesday. Their first scrimmage comes this Saturday at 1:00 p.m. in College Park against Georgetown.

“I want to see guys flying around,” said Rotanz. “I want to see the energy. I want to see the passion. Not everything is going to be perfect.”

Coach Tillman enters this season with some new ink.  He told a couple of his players last year that he would get his first tattoo if the Terps captured the National Championship. He kept that promise in a pretty special way.

“I got my mom’s initials,” he said. “I wanted something that was going to be very meaningful and important to me and be long-lasting. I wanted to honor her. Having her pass last year that was something that was important to me. So, I followed through on my bet." 

Follow Shawn Stepner on Twitter @StepnerWMAR and Facebook