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Maryland men’s lacrosse vs. Colgate preview

The No. 3 Terps host the No. 16 Raiders for a midweek bout.

Maryland lacrosse Logan Wisnauskas vs. Bucknell Lila Bromberg / Testudo Times

Maryland men’s lacrosse will face its first real test of the 2019 season on Tuesday as they return to College Park to face No. 16 Colgate.

The Terps lead the all-time series against the Raiders 7-2, with their most recent matchup resulting in an 18-6 win back in 2013. But under head coach John Tillman, Maryland has split its last four games against Colgate, winning in 2010 and 2013 but losing in 2011 and 2012.

Colgate began this season outside of the country’s top 20 teams, but has quickly risen in the rankings after upsetting then-No. 11 Syracuse on the road and handling a lowly Binghamton team. Now, the Raiders will have a chance to further climb the college ranks against a Maryland team that’s still trying to find its footing in 2019.

The game starts at 5 p.m. ET and will be streamed on ($).

Colgate Raiders (2-0)

Head coach Matt Karweck seems to have Colgate headed in the right direction after being hired last July, leading Colgate to a win over Syracuse in his head coaching debut. After spending the last six seasons studying under Notre Dame’s Kevin Corrigan as an assistant coach, Karweck will be looking to lead the Raiders back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2015.

Players to know

Junior attack Nicky Petkevich (No. 13) finished in the middle of the pack last season in goals scored for Colgate with just nine, but appears to be on the verge of a breakout season in 2019. Through the team’s first two games, Petkevich is already close to surpassing last season’s total, scoring four goals in each game. It’ll be interesting to see whether or not Petkevich continues his scoring spree and how Maryland plans on accounting for him.

Senior attack Sam Cleveland (No. 18) finds himself on the opposite end of the spectrum compared to Petkevich, serving as the primary facilitator in the Raider attack unit. At 6’5, Cleveland has the advantage of being able to see over most of the defense and hit cutters for looks on goal, an advantage he utilized to the tune of 31 assists last season. Maryland doesn’t have a defender listed higher than 6’3 on its roster, so Tillman and defensive coordinator Jesse Bernhardt may need to get creative to slow the big man down.

Senior midfielder Will Blumenberg (No. 22) should find himself all over the field on Tuesday night in his role as Karweck’s go-to short-stick defensive midfielder. Blumenberg finished last season with 66 ground balls and 12 caused turnovers, earning him team defensive MVP and a spot on the 2019 Preseason All-Patriot League team. Expect him to be a pest for Maryland midfielders all game.


Causing turnovers. One of the things Colgate has done well so far this season is stealing possessions from the opposing team. To this point, Colgate has caused nine turnovers per game, a top-20 mark in all of college lacrosse. Should the Terps struggle at the faceoff X again like they did against Penn, they’ll need to get the most out of each possession they do get and avoid turning it over.


Man-down defense. Although having limited opportunities so far in 2019, the Terps could really do some damage should they earn themselves a few extra-man opportunities. Against Syracuse, Colgate surrendered five extra-man chances, allowing goals in three of those opportunities. The Terps have been good in limited action thus far this season, scoring on three of five chances, so drawing and converting on penalties could be an important factor in this game.

Three things to watch

1. Which Maryland team shows up? Despite being 3-0, it’s clear the Terps have yet to play their best lacrosse. Maryland, as far as their ranking would suggest, is one of the better teams in the country this year but have struggled against opponents like Penn and Richmond. We could end up learning a lot about this Maryland team depending on how this game goes.

2. Can the Terps finish better? Something that’s become all too apparent in these early-season tilts for the Terps has been their poor play down the stretch. They’ve had opportunities to put teams away late in games, but have broken down on all phases and allowed teams to pull the game back into contention. Tillman’s only had three days to sort this out since the last game, but will need to get his team focused in the fourth quarter before it ends up resulting in a loss.

3. Can Austin Henningsen and Justin Shockey rebound? It was a brutal day for Tillman’s 1-2 punch at FOGO, as Shockey and Henningsen looked completely overmatched from start to finish. It was obvious how much of an impact Penn’s dominance on face offs had on the last game, and the duo will need to hold their own going forward to take some of the pressure off the defense.