In its first nationally televised game of the season, No. 2 Maryland men’s lacrosse will face No. 17 Notre Dame in South Bend on Sunday.
This will be the 12th meeting between the two teams since 1995, with Maryland narrowly leading the all-time series 6-5. The Terps and Fighting Irish have played each of the last three years as well, with Maryland losing two of those games but winning last year’s matchup at home 12-10.
The Irish are coming off of their first loss of the season as they face the Terps, falling to Richmond on the road last week 9-8. Despite having defeated Richmond earlier this season, Maryland is not taking a perennially strong Notre Dame team lightly.
“I kinda look at Notre Dame and put myself in their shoes. They’re probably saying, ‘Hey, Maryland beat Richmond and we just lost to them, they’re gonna be kinda licking their chops,’” senior midfielder Will Snider said. “I think they’re gonna show up and play. I mean look at them historically, they’re a great program so we always respect them.”
The teams face off at noon ET with the game being televised live on ESPNU.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1-1)
2018 record: 9-6, 1-3 ACC
Head coach Kevin Corrigan is continuing his run as the longest tenured coach in DI men’s lacrosse, eclipsing the three-decade mark now in this 31st season with the Irish. Corrigan has had Tillman’s number in previous matchups, holding a 4-2 record over the Terps since Tillman was hired in 2011.
Players to know
Junior midfielder Bryan Costabile (No. 26) has been one of Notre Dame’s better scoring threats since he arrived in South Bend, totaling 47 goals in his first two seasons and leading the Irish with seven already through two games in 2019. Inside Lacrosse named the Maryland native a Preseason First Team All-American, and he should be a difference-maker offensively on Sunday.
Senior attack Brendan Gleason (No. 9) joins Costabile to form a strong scoring duo for the Irish, scoring 25 and 19 goals in each of the last two seasons. Gleason, along with Costabile, is someone that upperclassmen Terps have developed a fair amount of familiarity over the past few years.
“[Gleason and Costabile] are both great players, but we pride ourselves on our system defense and how we help each other on defense,” senior midfielder Thomas O’Connell said. “We play against plenty of great players during the year, and Gleason and Costabile are just another two, so we’ll prepare the same way just working hard during practice and have a game plan for them come game day.”
Sophomore defenseman Arden Cohen (No. 36) burst onto the scene his freshman year for the Irish defense, starting in all 15 games and causing 10 turnovers and recovering 39 ground balls in his rookie campaign. Cohen’s play last season earned him a 2019 Inside Lacrosse Preseason All-America Honorable Mention, and he figures to help lead a traditionally stout Notre Dame defense.
Defense. Corrigan and the Irish have the luxury of returning all three of their starting close defenders from last season, a group that finished 2018 ninth in the NCAA in goals allowed per game. The defense seems to have picked up where it left off, holding both of its first two opponents to under 10 goals. Notre Dame held the Terps to four goals the last time they were in South Bend, so the Maryland attack will have its work cut out for it come Sunday.
Goalkeeping. Although surrounded by a strong defense, the Terps may be able to take advantage of Notre Dame’s somewhat spotty goalkeeping. Sophomore Matt Schmidt has had a good year to this point, with a save percentage at 53.6 percent, but saw his share of struggles his freshman year, finishing at just 47.5 percent. For a Terp offense that’s reached double-digit goals in every game so far this season, making sure they finish possessions with shots on goal and test Schmidt will be important.
Three things to watch
1. Can the Terps stay undefeated? A win on Sunday would mark the third time in the Tillman era that Maryland has started a season 6-0, the last time being in 2014. Given how much parity we’ve seen across college lacrosse already this season, a 6-0 start would put Maryland firmly in the conversation for the best team in the country.
2. Will Louis Dubick stay hot? Senior attack Louis Dubick played his best game in a Maryland uniform last week against Navy, netting five goals on seven shots en route to a Terp victory. Dubick has been making the most of his senior season, finally getting his crack in the starting lineup and taking full advantage, totaling 10 goals already on the season.
3. Justin Shockey is back. The sophomore faceoff man has been in and out of the rotation for Maryland this season, seeing action in each of the first three games but sitting out the entire Colgate match before returning against Navy last week. Shockey finished 16-of-23 against the Midshipmen, a strong bounceback performance following an 0-for-7 day at Penn, but we can only guess as to whether he or senior Austin Henningsen will take most of the reps at the faceoff X on Sunday.