Editor’s Note: Guest post by Hayden King
Watching Maryland dominate Cornell last year in the National Championship was a foregone conclusion
many of us reached when the Terps completed their undefeated season heading into the 2022 NCAA
That team was nothing short of incredible. Led by 2022 Tewaaraton winner Logan
Wisnauskas, they managed to become just the 13th team in NCAA Division 1 history to record an
undefeated season and win the title.
One thought crossed my head watching that National Championship, “They’re going to run it back.”
I got their future at +800 in May, and they’re locked in at +450 right now. Still a good team with plenty of weapons, I think this team has everything needed to repeat in 2023.
Let’s talk about returners. Luke Wierman, one of the most dominant FO Specialists in the nation last year,
will be returning. This kid is an absolute monster winning 66% of his draws, raking in a solid
160 ground balls, and even chipping in a nice 17 points on his 2022 season. He was a1 st Team All-American by Inside Lacrosse (2nd Team by US Lacrosse Magazine) and 2022 B1G specialist of the year.
Speaking of All-Americans, the Terps will be returning 4 All-Americans to their defensive half of
the field. Captained by the 2022 NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player, Logan McNaney, this
defense managed to hold teams to a .26% Shot Percentage and a meager 8.44 Goals Per Game Average.
McNaney was named an Honorable Mention All-American, along with LSM John Geppert who will be
running their team defense through the midfield. Geppert is an absolute vacuum on the ground, pulling
in 52 ground balls on the season.
Adding to this Terp defensive beast, they will also be returning Ajax Zappitello who was a welcome surprise in the 2022 season and earned preseason 2nd team All American from US Lacrosse Magazine.
Last and definitely not least, the Terp defense will be returning 1st Team All-American Brett Makar to
bolster the already stacked defensive line. He’s an absolute monster, and it will be interesting to see
how the Terps use Makar and Zappitello against teams like Virginia.
Regardless of their systems, this defense is going to be a menace in 2023 and I think they’re a safe bet to keep the opposition point totals low.
The big difference in 2023 is going to be the with the offense. They graduated their top 4 point
producers from the ’22 season. I’ve already mentioned Wisnauskas, who led the team with 103 points
on the season. Losing him is going to be tough, and the Terps still haven’t announced who will be
wearing the famed #1 in ’23.
To make matters worse, the Terps lose a combined 170 more points of offense with the graduations of Keegan Khan (63 points), Anthony DeMaio (54 points), and Jonathan Donville (53 points).
However, they will get some help back, but not nearly as much as on their defensive
end. Midfielder Kyle Long will return to this Maryland offense as the top remaining scorer from that
2022 team, notching a nice 42 points that earned him Honorable Mention nods from Inside Lacrosse.
Long will take on an increased roll in this offense and should see an increase in points on the season.
Unfortunately, the Terps were hoping to return attackman Eric Malever, but he suffered a season-
ending knee injury during fall ball.
Their offense is going to look completely different in ’23, but besides Georgetown, Maryland has become Transfer U. The campus, history, and Coach Tillman have shown they can bring in just about any transfer on the market.
One major addition they made through that market will be Donal Mullane, former Conference Player of the Year at Division 3 Bowdoin College. He’s a big attackmen that should make an immediate impact with the team, after recording 105 points for Bowdoin in ’22.
I failed to mention the loss of Bubba Fairman earlier, which will be significant for their defensive midfield. However, another acquisition via transfer may be able to fill that spot. Donovan Lacey will be joining the team via Sacred Heart as a strong 2-way midfielder that’s demonstrated he can play with the Terps high-tempo pace. He’s going to fit in nicely with this team and should help with the loss of Fairman.
An interesting addition to the team is going to be former #9 2021 recruit Dante Trader Junior. Trader has been playing football for the Terps, but announced in the fall he would be playing lacrosse
this spring. He was a beast in high school and if he can return to that level, be ready for him to burst
Besides changes in the roster, the Terps also lost offensive coordinator Bobby Benson who now leads
the Providence Friars. Benson is one of the best coordinators in lacrosse, and I think he’s going to make
a great head coach.
The gap left could definitely see the Terps switching play styles in ’23, but they will be more than competent with the addition of Jake Bernhardt, who was formerly at Vermont. This Terp
team now has two Bernhardt’s on the staff, with Jake’s brother leading the defense. The Bernhardt
blood runs deep in Maryland, and I think this is an omen for great things to come.
I do think this team will look different in 2023, but I think they are a safe bet to repeat as champions.
Whether it’s the Bernhardt magic, Tillman’s resilience, or something unforeseen, this team is going to be
hard to beat and should repeat as B1G Champions in 2023.
If you’re looking for a good future, +450 is going to get you great value for a team that will be hard to beat.
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