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Maryland lacrosse’s midfield should lead an attack that’s as lethal as ever

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In terms of scoring, the Terps look downright scary.

NCAA Lacrosse: National Championship-North Carolina vs Maryland Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Depth at midfield for Maryland men’s lacrosse has been an invaluable component of the program’s recent success. But the unit lost 2016 MLL draft selections Bryan Cole, Pat Young and Henry West, who provided a massive chunk of production the Terps somehow have to make up (53 goals and 42 assists). Output aside, all three were irreplaceable team leaders whose absences are greater than what appears in the box score.

This might seem like a problem, but the Terps are going to be just fine at midfield.

“We feel like we’re in a very similar situation,” Tillman said at Maryland’s spring media availability. “I think we have some guys that are capable, they’ve been waiting for their opportunity.”

Senior Isaiah Davis-Allen, a dynamic short-stick defensive middie named a preseason First Team All-American by Inside Lacrosse, proved to be a jack of all trades last season with 45 ground balls, four goals and an assist. Alongside him on the first line will be Connor Kelly, an explosive midfielder who finished third on the team in scoring with 31 goals after a breakout sophomore campaign.

Add in the veterans that saw significant minutes like DiMillo, Wesley Janeck, Will Bonaparte and Nick Manis, it’s as crowded a unit as ever.

“It’s a good problem, it’s not like we only have six middies that we could play,” Tillman said. “We have some guys that are battling, and then some days one guy might be a little bit better than the other. And then it’s a little bit chemistry-wise too, like who’s going to work the best together.”

The Terps have more talent than positions to fill at the midfield, and that’s never been a bad thing.

They’re also set at face-off.

Austin Henningsen simply bullied opposing face-off specialists as a freshman. He went 151-of-256 at the X, a program freshman record and the second-best freshman percentage in the country with 59 percent. In last year’s National Championship, a young Henningsen manhandled UNC’s Stephen ‘Bones’ Kelly, considered arguably the nation’s best face-off specialist.

Plus, the offense is going to be just as lethal as last year’s.

The Terps became an offensive juggernaut last season, reaching double-digit scoring in all but three of their 20 games played. This is the one unit that didn’t lose a significant contributor to its rotation, and Maryland’s got the personnel to be one of the highest-scoring offenses in the country.

Matt Rambo and Colin Heacock, the Terps’ deadly best-friend duo on attack, return to terrify defenses for their senior seasons. Rambo and Heacock were first and second on the team in scoring, respectively, combining for whopping 85 goals and 44 assists. Keep in mind that the team’s fourth-leading scorer, Dylan Maltz, returns after a 38-point year as well. Those three players alone accounted for nearly half of Maryland’s goals last year.

The attack is going to be hard to contain as it is, but the real surprise breakout player could be sophomore Louis Dubick. A third-generation player at Maryland, Dubick was excellent on extra-man opportunities last year as a freshman, notching five goals and two assists. At Monday’s media day, Tillman acknowledged that the local standout will most likely see an uptick in playing and production.

Navy will get the first taste of what this offense and midfield can do when the Terps travel to Annapolis Saturday at noon for the season opener.