John Tillman has joined the century club.
Tillman became the fastest Maryland men’s lacrosse head coach to reach 100 wins when the Terps defeated Penn 13-6 Wednesday night at Capital One Field. Tillman, who joined Maryland in 2011, surpassed former head coach and current Chesapeake Bayhawks’ coach Dave Cottle with his 100th win as the third-winningest coach in Maryland history.
Tillman took just eight seasons to reach the milestone, and has the second-highest winning percentage among active head coaches.
“I don’t really think a lot about that [milestone],” Tillman said. “I think the greatest thing was after the game to see all those former players, and how much I value those guys and the relationships that I have with them and admire them, seeing them [become] successful. That to me keeps me motivated.”
Tillman’s first major decision came before the game even started, allowing senior defenseman Bryce Young to make his season debut after missing the first three games of the season due to an undisclosed injury. Tillman opted to mix up the midfield lines as well, promoting Colin Giblin to the first line while giving Will Snider an opportunity on the second.
Young helped the No. 3-ranked Maryland Terrapins (4-0) defense shut down the Quakers (1-1) offense for large chunks of the game and held them to six goals overall. Penn had over a 22-minute goal drought in the second half and a 15 minute drought in between its goals in the second quarter to the third.
Senior long-stick midfielder Nick Brozowski, who had two groundballs and caused two turnovers, spoke of the difference Tillman has made of the past four years.
“I think his 100th win count says it all for us,” Brozowski said. “I’ve grown so much as a person under coach Tillman and all the coaches. Just personally, they challenge me everyday to be a better player and achieve things I never really thought I was personally capable of doing.”
Redshirt freshman Logan Wisnauskas powered the Terps offense in the win, scoring a career-high five goals. Wisnauskas notched a hat trick Saturday against High Point. Wisnauskas gave a shout out to senior reserve keeper Danny Dolan, who helped him prepare for tonight’s game by switching hands to emulate the Penn goalie, Reed Junkin.
Wisnauskas again! His career-high fourth goal of the day puts the Terps up 9-2 with less than a minute to go. pic.twitter.com/WvFBxVqu6Y
— Kevin Brown (@kevbrown89) February 21, 2018
The first half started with all things going right for the Terps, scoring the first four goals of the game behind excellent dodging as three of the four goals were unassisted. Yet, it was senior goalie Dan Morris that made five saves in the opening quarter to keep the Quakers scoreless. Morris was on fire early on, making saves like this:
“This being my fifth year, I think I’ve been here for a good portion of those [wins],” Morris said. “My five years here, I think I’ve grown a lot as a person, getting through adversity and hard times…it’s no surprise to me that he’s gotten 100, and I’m sure there’s several hundred more to be had.”
Sophomore attackman Jared Bernhardt continued in the same vein early in the second quarter, utilizing a pick set by Anthony DeMaio to score a wrap around goal to extend the lead to 5-0. But Penn answered almost immediately off the ensuing face-off with a slow break to find long-stick midfielder Jack Ullrich for the Quakers’ first goal.
Penn senior attackman Kevin McGeary, who scored four goals in the season-opening win against Michigan, then followed up to make it 5-2. That would be the last goal for the Quakers in the first half.
Maryland started to gain separation with another 4-0 run, three of which came from Logan Wisnauskas as he set a career high with five goals. DeMaio scored his first collegiate goal as a redshirt freshman with a nifty dodge down the right alley and finished inside with his left hand.
Penn got the momentum back on their side with two quick goals from Tyler Dunn and Simon Mathias in the third quarter, with both goals coming from similar lefty dodges on the wing before jump shooting past Morris’s near post.
The Quakers continued to put pressure on Maryland’s defense during the final quarter, but could not find the finishing touches on offense. After a hard ride on a Terrapin clear, Mathias intercepted Morris’ errant pass but failed to capitalize on an open net that would have made it 10-5 as Morris saved the one-on-one.
Maryland punished the Quakers for their missed opportunities, as Connor Kelly’s smooth left-handed goal was sandwiched in between Bernhardt and Wisnauskas goals. The Quakers did not quit, however, as Adam Goldner and Alex Roesner scored two last consolation goals.
Tillman will face tough opponents in the next three games, all three of which are currently in the top 15. The Terps’ first test will be against Notre Dame next Saturday in College Park.
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