Void Left by Maryland’s Rambo Noticeable, What Terps Are Doing to Fill It

The Maryland Terrapins have just concluded their fall practice season and have now learned that they will be without their only returning starter at attack indefinitely.  The press release came out this week and its impact will likely leave Maryland scrambling for an impact player at attack who can stretch the defense.  Matt Rambo started all 17 games as a freshman, finishing as the team’s second leading scorer.

As the lacrosse world is well aware, the other returning player would have been Connor Cannizzaro, who has since transferred to Denver to join his brother.  He was a dynamic player for the Terps, who could initiate offense against any defender in the nation.  His presence was most felt in the NCAA Tournament, where he had eight points on six goals, two assists.

Luckily for Maryland, they may have found that initiating attackman in sophomore transfer Dylan Maltz.  Maltz comes back home after his rookie campaign in Syracuse ended alongside his brother Derek graduating.  He is fast and can be the man behind the cage leading the offensive charge.  Unfortunately his impact was likely most to impact the team with Cannizzaro’s departure.

Jay Carlson comes into his senior year looking to contribute much more.  He was the team’s fourth leading scorer, but had less of a significant impact late in the season when Mike Chanenchuk, Cannizzaro, and Rambo platooned the starting attack spots.  Carlson was the fourth man, finding his spots in rotation.

Now it looks like Carlson will find his home in front of the opposing goalies for the entire year.  He isn’t strictly a crease attackman, but he certainly does most of his damage in the middle.  To be successful, he will need to have a third attackman to stretch the defense away from the middle, which Rambo might have been one of the best in the nation at doing.

Maryland’s roster does not have much impact and experience at the attack position, which rested on the fact that Rambo would have been a staple to the Terp offense during his tenure.  What will be ever more import for Maryland is the depth at midfield to stretch the defense.  Freshman Colin Giblin, sophomore Tim Rotanz, and a number of juniors looking to replace Rambo.

Tim Rotanz is the most likely to replace Rambo as the indefinite suspension commences.  Rotanz was an Under Armour All-American along with Rambo in the 2013 game.  He saw the most action in his rookie season in College Park.  Rotanz saw action in thirteen games as a freshman, collecting 6 points on three goals, three assists.

Joe LoCascio and Henry West are going to have to create room for the attack to navigate in the offense.  The fall scrimmage against Bucknell did not adequately show the level of competition that Maryland will see in the spring.  Maryland will see out of conference foes Johns Hopkins and Navy, who had an impressive fall contest against Virginia, before hitting their schedule of ACC counterparts.

The midfield will be asked to carry the weight of Matt Rambo’s absence until either he is allowed back with the team or they can find a suitable replacement.  The Under Armour All-American was looking for an NCAA All-American caliber season in hopes of returning the Terrapins to the semi-finals where they were stopped last season.

As the decision on the legal matter is not even close to ending for Rambo and recently dismissed student assistant coach Brian Cooper, they could be the headlines to Maryland’s student-athlete policies for 2014 as the summer was not a good one for headlines for Maryland.  The team has been in the headlines prior.

A member of the team was charged with sexual assault this summer after an incident at a concert in Virginia.  Those charges were dismissed, but the effects of the charges were felt on campus.  The punishment could even be impacted as far back as the Travis Reed arrest, where the punishment was deemed light by the public in lieu of the events that surrounded his arrest.  The situations are even very similar as Reed was a high profile recruit, who was known for stretching defenses with his shooting abilities.

The Maryland team will be looking to fill a large hole in its offense, but the pieces are there to do so.  There are freshman looking for fill the void left by Rambo, as well as veterans that can transition into the role.  Luckily for the coaching staff, they have two months of workouts and individuals to find the best option until the legal proceedings are decided.

Brian Davies