Maryland men’s lacrosse’s DeMaio, Puglise and Rahill earn Big Ten preseason honors

Midfielder Roman Puglise run back in defense during Maryland men's lacrosse's 14-13 overtime win against Towson on May 12, 2019. (Julia Nikhinson)

Maryland men’s lacrosse attacker Anthony DeMaio, midfielder Roman Puglise and defender Matt Rahill were named to the Big Ten preseason watchlist, the conference announced Monday.

DeMaio scored 28 goals and tallied 18 assists last season — his first as a full-time starter. Inside Lacrosse and USILA both named the San Diego native as an honorable mention on their All-American teams after he scored six goals in the NCAA tournament — tied for the most on the team.

Puglise, a junior, ranked second on the team in ground balls (47) while recording seven goals. On April 27, 2019, Puglise netted against Johns Hopkins, Maryland’s first man-down goal in over six years. Despite not making a start last campaign, Puglise also earned an honorable mention on the Inside Lacrosse All-American roster.

[Read more: Maryland men’s lacrosse releases 2020 schedule, will face reigning NCAA champion Virginia]

After playing in four games as a freshman, Rahill appeared in all 17 games last year, moving into the long-stick midfielder role. The Chalfont, Pennsylvania, native notched 22 ground balls and caused six turnovers — tied for the third-highest total on the Terps. With long-stick midfielder Nick Brozowki and defender Curtis Corley graduating, Rahill looks set to take on a more prominent role in both the midfield and the backline this season.

Monday’s announcement is the latest in a string of preseason honors for coach John Tillman’s squad. Attacker Jared Bernhardt, midfielder Bubba Fairman, and defender Brett Makar were named to Inside Lacrosse’s All-Big Ten team on Jan. 16.

Bernhardt racked up 51 goals in his junior season, the second-most goals in program history, and finished the season with 79 points — good for sixth all-time.

[Read more: After coming up short last year, Maryland men’s lacrosse is building itself back up]

A two-year starter, Fairman recorded seven multi-goal games in 2019, tallying 42 points en route to an appearance on the USILA All-American third team.

Makar impressed throughout his first year in College Park, starting all 17 games at close defense, posting 25 ground balls while causing four turnovers.

And on Jan. 21, midfielder Logan Wisnauskas (honorable mention) joined Bernhardt (second team), DeMaio (third team), Fairman (third team), Puglise (honorable mention) and Makar (honorable mention) on Inside Lacrosse’s All-American watchlist.

Meanwhile, the Terps were tabbed as the No. 2 team in the Big Ten’s coaches poll behind Penn State, the No. 1 team in the country.

Tillman’s squad opens its campaign on Feb. 1 with a home matchup against High Point.

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