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Maryland men's lacrosse garners five USILA All-Americans

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Not surprisingly, defense ruled the day as the USILA chose to honor five Maryland men's lacrosse players on their All-America lists and three of them come from the defensive half of the field.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Five seems to be a magic number for Maryland lacrosse in 2015 - at least when it comes to finding All-Americans on a Terrapins' roster. Five women's players were recently named ICLWA All-Americans and five men's players joined them when the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) announced it men's All-American teams Thursday afternoon.

Two Terps, who both play on the defensive side of the field, are among the 15 players to earn first team USILA honors. Two other Terrapins were named to the third team and one received honorable mention.

Thursday, the USILA released its list of individual award winners and, for the second consecutive season, Maryland's goalie won the Ensign C. Markland Kelly, Jr. Award as the nation's outstanding goalkeeper.

Kyle Bernlohr - First team goalie

Kyle Bernlohr, a junior from Akron, Ohio, had perhaps the tallest task facing anyone on Maryland's defensive unit because he had to follow to follow the Terps' most recent All-American goalie and 2014 Ensign C. Markland Kelly, Jr. Award winner, Niko Amato. As for how he fared, the Latin phrase res ipsa loquitur (not in the legal use but in the literal translation "the matter speaks for itself") comes to mind. Bernlohr duplicated Amato's feat earning both the first team All-American slot and the award as the nation's outstanding goalkeeper.

Bernlohr anchors a Terrapins defense that leades the nation in fewest goals allowed at 6.65 and individually carries a 6.57 goals against average (GAA) that also leads the nation. He has held that position from the outset of the season. Barring the greatest offensive display in the history of the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Tournament Final Four, Bernlohr will become the first Maryland goalie to lead the country in GAA since Dan McCormick accomplished that feat in 2002. The junior's .589 save percentage is third best in the NCAA.

Casey Ikeda - First team defender

Certainly it  should come as no surprise to see Ikeda as the other of the two Terrapins on the USILA first team All-America squad. Ikeda simply succeeds wherever he goes and whatever he does. If Bernlohor is the anchor, Ikeda is the central figure on that nation's best defensive unit.

In the Big Ten, Ikeda was named Defensive Player of the Week on four occasions and he was also tabbed as the Defensive Player of the Year in the conference. Last week, he was also named by the USILA as a Scholar All-American. Ikeda leads Maryland with 16 caused turnovers and has also vacuumed up 25 ground balls. He has started 48 consecutive games for the Terrapins.

Matt Dunn - Third team defense

Dunn is one of two Terps whose inclusion on the an All-American team is, in some ways, surprising. In comparison with many other defensive players, Dunn's statistics are, frankly, pedestrian. He enters the championship weekend with 11 caused turnovers and 11 ground balls. But the junior from Towson, MD missed four games due to injury and among those games was one of only three times this season when Maryland conceded 10 or more goals. His one on one skills have helped propel Maryland's run in the NCAA Tournament as he has been essential in containing Yale's Conrad Oberbeck and North Carolina's Jimmy Bitter.

Joe LoCascio - Third team midfield

A senior midfielder, LoCascio has been the Terps' most consistent scoring threat from that position in the 2015 season. Possessing one of the most powerful shots on the team, he has set personal bests in goals with 29, assists with 12 and, obviously, points with 41. The 29 goals tie him for second on the team.

Like Dunn, LoCascio has played a key role in Maryland's run to the Final Four. He scored three of Maryland's eight goals in the Terps' comeback win against Yale. Against North Carolina, LoCascio became more of a facilitator scoring just once but dishing out three assists.

Charlie Raffa - Honorable Mention faceoff

A senior captain, Raffa is the engine that drives the Maryland squad and his importance is reflected as much in his passion, energy and work ethic as it is in his prowess at the faceoff dot. Even more so than Dunn's, Raffa's season has been derailed by injuries. He has missed five games due to those injuries and, although he appeared in the Big Ten Tournament semifinal,  it was only for three late faceoffs in Maryland's 10-9 loss to Ohio State.  The decision to hold Raffa out was one Maryland coach John Tillman called perhaps the most important of the season as a more rested Raffa has played a key part in helping Maryland unlock the door for a return trip to the Final Four. For the season, Raffa has won 59.6 percent of his faceoffs.