When this year’s Maryland men’s lacrosse junior class arrived in College Park in 2013, the group was split between two dorms: Charles and Alleghany.

Trash talk about which side was better and more fun ensued. If someone made a play in practice, he’d yell “That’s for Charles!” or “That’s for Alleghany!”

The rivalry didn’t stop off the field. The players would flip each other’s mattresses. Attackman Colin Heacock would often come home after study hall, find a tree branch and leave it in one of his teammates’ rooms.

Heacock once messed up his own suite, too, when midfielder Bryan Cole, former midfielders Charlie Raffa and Joe LoCascio, and former defender Eric Parnon barged into Charles to start a nerf gun war. Heacock didn’t have one, so he countered by throwing cereal and chocolate milk.

“We’re like, ‘Colin, this is our own place. You’re destroying our own place,'” midfielder Tim Rotanz remembered. “You’d never know what was going to happen.”

More than two years later, the group’s antics have matured as the class’s members fill five of the team’s 10 starting spots. Entering an NCAA quarterfinal bout with No. 8-seed Syracuse Saturday afternoon in Providence, Rhode Island, the No. 1-seed Terps will rely on contributions from their third-year players as they look to earn a third straight national semifinal berth.

“They realize they’re not younger guys anymore,” defender Greg Danseglio said. “The confidence they bring, the experience they bring. They’ve been in big-time situations in big-time games, so we’re really looking forward to that to help us move forward.”

Attackmen Dylan Maltz and Heacock, two of the team’s three starting juniors on the front line, have set career-highs in scoring this year. Maltz has started every game he’s played since transferring from the Orange.

Heacock, meanwhile, converted from midfield to his natural attack position two games into this campaign and leads the Terps with 37 goals.

Attackman Matt Rambo, rounding out the attack trio, has scored 24 points on 13 goals and 11 assists in the past five games. After Rambo notched a personal-best 40 goals in 2015 as a sophomore, Danseglio watched Rambo evolve into “a different animal to cover” in the offseason.

He was physical in driving to the cage and improved his vision in passing lanes. Rambo, Heacock and Maltz worked on their chemistry after practices.

Coach John Tillman also noticed another junior make strides before the season. Defender Tim Muller, who leads the team with 23 caused turnovers, expanded his role with defenders Mac Pons and Matt Dunn recovering from offseason surgery and longpole Matt Neufeldt out for the season.

Pons has also joined Muller as the two juniors to start every game on the backline this season. During Tuesday’s practice, attackman Ian Robertson gave Pons a difficult time during the scout portion of practice, and defensive coordinator Kevin Conry called out Pons for “getting owned,” goalkeeper Kyle Bernlohr said.

“Then Mac comes out in the next play and dominates,” Bernlohr said. “Dominates for the rest of practice.”

Rotanz and Lucas Gradinger, both redshirt sophomore midfielders, have also carved a niche on the team’s second midfield line, while midfielder Isaiah Davis-Allen, the team’s only junior captain, has established a starring role on the wing for faceoffs and as a short-stick defender.

“A lot of those guys have played as much as a typical senior might,” Tillman said. “That’s been huge, so whether it’s been on the field or off the field, it’s almost like they’re one class in a lot of ways.”

The team sometimes ends its sessions with a long-ball competition by class. Each person has to stand on the 20-yard line and shoot the ball into the goal on the opposite end of the field. Whichever group nets the most attempts wins, while the losers are left to clean up and return to the locker room to jokes and cold showers.

“Juniors would always win,” Muller said. “Sophomores would always lose.”

Yet the Terps have learned how to pause the humor and rivalries on game days.

During pre-game stretches in lines across the field, the players yell to one another to build their energy. Then Dunn brings the squad into a huddle and demands his teammates focus for the upcoming contest.

“It’s real quick how we flip that switch,” Rotanz said. “This team, we can do that so quickly.”