2015: A B1G Year For Maryland Lacrosse


Feb 22, 2014; Syracuse, NY, USA; Maryland Terrapins midfielder Joe LoCascio (5) prepares to shoot the ball during the third quarter of a game at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

We have almost one month before the start of a new era in NCAA lacrosse. The Big Ten conference will prove to be a force in their first year as an official lacrosse conference.

With Maryland moving to the Big Ten, the conference made a huge power move and invited Johns Hopkins to also join the conference. This adds instant credibility to a conference that once looked at lacrosse as a foreign sport. The Big Ten now has two of the most prolific programs in the sport who also happen to play one another in the best rivalry game in the nation.

Here are a few things to look for this year as the season is right around the corner.

How will Maryland bounce back from the losses of Cannizzarro and Amato?

Last offseason saw the graduation of senior goalie Niko Amato and the transfer of freshman attacker and ACC rookie of the year, Connor Cannizzarro. These losses could prove to be a detriment to the Terps this year. But as we all know, the Terps have a great coaching staff and with the hiring of J.L. Reppert as an assistant coach, recruiting young talent should not be an issue, and we could see some freshman fill the void that has been left behind.

New conference, new dynamics

Last year, we saw the ACC, as one of the most dominant conferences in any sport, take the field week in and week out (hopefully there aren’t any SEC football fans reading this), and as exciting as this new conference is, you have to believe Maryland’s competition will take a hit. But maybe this is a good thing, as the team is getting younger and doesn’t have the experience that last year’s team did.

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The Big Ten this year is top-heavy with Ohio State, Johns Hopkins, and Maryland. Michigan is still trying to get their feet on the ground as a newer team added by the NCAA. Rutgers and Penn State are building and don’t pose a huge threats as contenders in the Big Ten. As long as Maryland can take care of non-conference opponents, they should be able to do quite well in their inaugural year in the Big Ten.

The Pacific Coast Shootout

This year, the Terps were invited to the second annual Pacific Coast Shootout in Santa Ana, California. This event will help “grow the game” as they will play a former rival and powerhouse ACC team, North Carolina. It will be a great experience for the team, and it will be great for the Maryland brand being in front of a West Coast crowd. But there are some negatives to this as well.

The traveling for this game and the following game is extensive. The Terps play March 14th in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They will then need to travel to Santa Ana, California, and be ready to play on March 21st, then just three days later, they need to be in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, close to Pittsburgh, to take on Robert Morris. That’s a lot of traveling between time zones and could set up a trap game against Robert Morris.

Overall, this year will be beyond exciting for the Maryland Terrapins and the Big Ten conference as a whole. Being center stage in a conference willing to make change and expand is a lot of responsibility, and it will be up to the Terps to not let them down. Hopefully they can make another run deep into Memorial Day weekend.

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