Will There be a New #1 for Maryland Men’s Lacrosse this Season?

Every year, head coach John Tillman selects a player to don the #1 jersey for the Terps men’s lacrosse team. The player selected is typically the Terps’ captain and leading offensive returner from the previous season. But with the season just around the corner, John Tillman has not yet announced who will be wearing the #1 jersey for this season, which is the latest it has ever been announced. This leads to the question–who will be wearing it, if anyone will even be wearing it this season?

We will take a dive into five possibilities for who could potentially be selected to wear the #1 jersey for the defending champs this season.

5. Owen Murphy, Junior Attackman

Last season, Murphy was a second-line midfielder for the Terps due to all the weapons at attack that they had and Murphy was too good of a player to keep on the bench. After the injury to Eric Malever who will not be able to play for the Terps this spring, Murphy is the Terps top returning attackman. Murphy scored 34 goals and five assist which is pretty impressive for a guy that was not a full time player. With the loss of Malever, Murphy will be asked to be more of a quarterback from the attack position for the Terps which should help his assist numbers skyrocket. One reason Murphy might not get to don the #1 jersey is he is a transfer. Murphy was originally at Johns Hopkins, but after getting kicked off the team for disciplinary reasons, Murphy transferred to Maryland and his first game action as a Terps was in the 2022 season. The only other player to wear the #1 that was a transfer was last season’s honoree in Logan Wisnauskas who wound up winning the Tewaarton award, which is college lacrosse’s version of the heisman. But Logan wore #1 after being in the program for four years while this is only Murphy’s second season in College Park.

4. Logan McNaney, Senior Goalie

McNaney has been the starting goalie for the Terps ever since the middle of his freshman season which was cut short due to covid. But since taking over, McNaney has only lost one game as a starting goalie which was the 2021 National Championship where the Terps lost by just one. Last season, McNaney had 200 saves and a save % of 60% which has earned him preseason second team all american honors from USA Lacrosse Magazine. McNaney is a vocal leader on the defense for the Terps and as a goalie is the most counted on player on the team as well. McNaney would be the first specialist to wear the #1 for the Terps if selected. With no one clear choice for who to pick to wear #1 this season, this could be a year of first for the jersey and could very well be given to McNaney.

3. Brett Makar, Graduate Student Defender

Makar is arguably one of the top close defenders in the entire country and could easily win defenseman of the year. Last season, even while battling injuries, Makar would matchup with opposing teams top attackmen and he would just shut them down. Makar was fourth on the team in caused turnovers with 15, and added 31 ground balls to the stat sheet as well. Last season, Makar also dipped into the offensive stat sheet as well with one goal and two assist. Makar was selected as a preseason first team all american defender by USA Lacrosse Magazine which is no shock. With Matt Rahil, as well as the Terps top three short stick defensive midfielders from last season gone, Makar’s leadership and toughness will be needed more then ever this season. Makar, just like Mcnaney, would be the first of his position to don the #1 for the Terps. No long stick defender has ever worn the #1 since it became a tradition. And with no clear choice on who it could be this season, Makar being the first defender to wear it is a very possible choice.

2. Kyle Long, Graduate Student Midfielder

Kyle Long is the Terps top returning offensive weapon with the loss of Malever. Long scored 18 goals and also tallied 25 assist to his name last season. He was third in assist on the team last season just behind Wisnauskas and Keegan Khan. Long is described as a quick midfielder that uses his speed to get by defenders and cause slides so that he can find an open man to create a goal. But with Long being the top returning offensive weapon and the number one midfield option this season, his role could change to where he becomes someone that will be relied on to score more. Long earned preseason second team all american honors from USA Lacrosse magazine which comes to no surprise. Long has the experience and the work ethic everyone would want out of their captain. With Long just having one more year of eligibility, giving him the #1 jersey this year, could leave the opportunity for Malever to earn it once he is back and healthy next season. Long would be the first midfielder to wear the #1 jersey for the Terps since Connor Kelly did it in 2018.

1. No one

Truthfully, with no one absolutely sticking out as who could wear the #1 jersey for the Terps this season, and if Tillman really wants to keep it an offensive thing, there could be no one selected to wear it. With the Terps top returning offensive weapon out for the season, which is normally who the jersey goes to, it complicates who the Jersey could potentially go to. So I would not be completely surprised if the tradition took a one year hiatus and Tillman waits till next season on who gets to keep the tradition alive. And with no one being announced as the new #1 so far, and the season being less then a month away now, it would not shock me at all to see a #1’less Terps squad out there this season.

The Terps will look to start their defense of the national title February 4th against the Richmond Spiders. Gametime and television information has not been announced yet.

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