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Maryland men’s lacrosse picked up its offense right where it left off to start 2017

Fifteen goals against a top-ranked defense? Not bad.

NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championship Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Maryland’s starting attack of Matt Rambo, Colin Heacock and Dylan Maltz averaged 5.7 goals per game last season, roughly half of the team’s goal output. In the Terps’ dominant 15-12 win over Navy on Saturday, that trio scored nine of the team’s goals.

Now seniors, they’re poised to let their experience instill a championship-caliber attitude to the team.

“All three of those guys...they bring back a lot of experience,” Second-Team All-American Navy defender Chris Fennell told reporters after facing the Terps. “It’s a lot of experience, and knowing how to play together. No. 2 [Heacock] and No. 1 [Rambo] work really well together.”

Fennell and Navy’s top-10 defense were no match for Maryland’s three-headed monster. Maltz led the team with four goals, while Rambo led the team in points with three goals and three assists, and Heacock contributed two goals and three assists as well. In total, that’s 15 of the team’s 24 total points.

Where exactly does that chemistry come from? Well, for starters, they’re as close off the field as they are on it.

“Our relationship off the field helps because we’re so close,” Heacock said after the win against Navy. “I live with Rambo, and Maltz lives right down the street. We’re always hanging out and getting food, even with the younger guys.”

When Maryland’s attackmen get into a rhythm, they can end the game within minutes before teams even realize what happened.

Take a look at this scoring run in the third quarter:

In just over three minutes of play, Maryland turned a 6-6 stalemate into a lofty 10-6 cushion, scoring three of those goals in a 90-second stretch. How can teams possibly prepare for an attack that can completely alter a game within seconds?

Take a look at this scoring run in the fourth quarter too:

Fourth-quarter scoring run

A 12-8 deficit in the fourth isn’t insurmountable for a program like Navy, but Maryland iced the game with two goals in a span of ten seconds. The Terps managed to put up 15 goals against a top-10 defense in the team’s season opener, which is impressive no matter what way you look at it.

This is Maryland’s starting point. This performance is the foundation on which the Terps will improve, and though any offense will have its peaks and valleys in a given season, it’s hard to imagine them getting much worse. As the season progresses, players will continue to shake off the rust of the new season. Their chemistry will gradually improve, and by season’s end the product should be downright scary.

Maryland’s story-long narrative will not be, “Does this team have enough firepower to win a championship?” because they do. Rather, it’ll be about whether it can keep up this level of play for an entire season.