With Maryland men’s lacrosse clinging to a 10-7 lead in the fourth quarter, Richmond attackman Ryan Lanchbury cut above the goal line and extended to the front of the crease. Then, he received a pass in the heart of the Maryland defense before quickly turning and scoring, bringing the Spiders’ deficit to two.

Defenders Curtis Corley and Brett Makar looked at one another in confusion, trying to figure out how Lanchbury had made his way in front of goalie Danny Dolan so easily.

Following Maryland’s narrow 10-9 victory Saturday, its focus for the week has been on scrutinizing the film and dissecting how to avoid those defensive lapses moving forward — an important step for a defense with new personnel.

Coach John Tillman said after Saturday’s game that Richmond’s players “were getting to places where we don’t want them to get to,” and the Spiders’ eighth goal was representative of those breakdowns.

“Other people are gonna watch the film,” Tillman said Wednesday, “and if you don’t fix and address the mistakes you made, people are gonna attack those things until you get it right.”

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While addressing those mistakes, the new-look defense will hope to grow together. The unit lost two-year starter Bryce Young from the group of close defenders, and another two-year starter in goalkeeper Dan Morris.

Corley and fellow defender Jack Welding are returning to the back end, as is long-stick midfielder Nick Brozowski. In the early stages of the season, the upperclassmen have emphasized being reliable defenders while also instilling confidence in the underclassmen that have to adapt to the defensive rigors of college lacrosse.

“We’re a really raw defense,” Brozowski said. “You’re going to have kind of your February mistakes, especially being a young defense and early in the season. But at the end of the day, I think we have a lot of potential.”

The progressive mindset that Tillman and Brozowski discussed echoed the sentiments that Corley had after the season opener against Bucknell, when he said the group was “taking steps in the right direction” and just needed to get better each day.

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Makar, the No. 4 overall recruit according to Inside Lacrosse, already has two starts under his belt, becoming the first freshman close defender to start a game for Maryland since Young did so in 2015. He’s also just the second from that position to start multiple games under Tillman, with Goran Murray in 2012 being the other.

Tillman described Makar as a focused individual with good physical strength for his age. With those inherent traits and the guidance from older players and assistant coach Jesse Bernhardt, who coordinates the defense, Makar was primed to start early.

“Certainly we let it play out, but I think it was pretty evident to his teammates very early that Brett was going to be a good player here,” Tillman said. “It was just going to be a matter of when he got the start, not if.”

As Makar and the rest of the defense continue to grow together, the unit will need to quickly patch the holes Richmond exposed before Saturday’s game against Penn, a team that returns three 20-goal scorers from a season ago.

“You kind of take your medicine,” Brozowski said. “You watch the film and you just get better from it and work on those things all week in practice.”