Maryland men’s lacrosse coach John Tillman warned his team that No. 15 Michigan had a familiar face on its sideline and might be anticipating some of the Terps’ plays.
In June, the Wolverines introduced former Terps associate head coach and defensive coordinator Kevin Conry as their head coach.
Conry spent five seasons in College Park. So, despite the team’s numerous first-year contributors giving it a fresh look, Tillman ensured the Terps made some adjustments before their conference opener.
“The way the world is now, lacrosse is so small that you’re going to have familiar faces on the other side,” Tillman said. “You’re going to be facing them one way or another.”
Tillman characterized the changes as “subtle tweaks.” Early in the game, the Wolverines made an adjustment on a ride, but the Terps were prepared and caught Michigan offside.
Though Conry had insight into Maryland’s playbook, the Wolverines were unable to slow the Terps attack. After Terps defenseman Bryce Young scored about four minutes into the second quarter, Conry stood on the sideline with his arms crossed. He had the same reaction after faceoff specialist Austin Henningsen scored Maryland’s 12th goal.
Conry’s background didn’t make a difference as Maryland capitalized on 18 Michigan turnovers and secured its fifth straight win against the Wolverines since entering the Big Ten.
“We thought it was a big advantage to know a lot of what we do personnel wise and what we do historically,” Tillman said. “We warned our guys this week.”
Faceoff specialist Justin Shockey has “freshman moment”
Faceoff specialist Justin Shockey entered the Terps’ contest with the nation’s best faceoff winning percentage among freshmen. Against the Wolverines, though, he struggled mightily.
Coming off a 16-for-20 performance against then-No. 20 North Carolina, Shockey secured just three of his 12 opportunities Saturday.
“[We were] just waiting for that freshman moment,” Tillman said.
Shockey “didn’t have it today,” Tillman said, and late in the first half, assistant coach Tyler Barbarich turned to faceoff specialist Will Bonaparte. Bonaparte won his two chances and Maryland scored two goals in 55 seconds at the end of the first half.
Then, after halftime, Austin Henningsen won four of eight faceoffs and scored a goal late in the fourth quarter.
The shift in momentum at the faceoff X helped Maryland put the game away, scoring seven straight goals to end the contest.
“Tyler Barbarich did a tremendous job today,” Tillman said. “Austin did a good job and got us to 50 percent [on faceoffs], and the wing play became really good. Early on, that was kind of the story. They kept getting faceoff possessions.”
Bryce Young scores second goal of the season
On March 24, when Maryland allowed the Tar Heels to come within two goals in the fourth quarter, Young found the net, helping lead to the Terps’ 11-7 win.
Young also recorded a score against Michigan at a crucial time, when Maryland was struggling to secure possessions due to Shockey’s first-half struggles.
About four minutes into the second quarter, Young broke through the Wolverines defense and gave Maryland a 3-2 lead.
A leader on the Terps defense, Young has become an offensive threat the past two weeks. He also helped the unit hold the Wolverines to their lowest goal total this season.