Just a few notes before No. 3 seed Maryland’s contest against Notre Dame in a NCAA tournament quarterfinal Saturday:
*Last year’s quarterfinal loss to Syracuse was punctuated by the loss of goalkeeper Brian Phipps, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee late in the first quarter of that 11-6 setback. Since then, the Annapolis native and Severn graduate has started every game for the Terps (12-3) and is a major reason they are one victory away from their fourth Final Four appearance under Dave Cottle. "He’s made all of the important saves," Cottle said of Phipps, who had recorded a .549 save percentage and a 8.27 goals-against average. "When we’ve gotten to the end, when we’ve needed a save or a stop, he’s made all the important plays, and that’s what you’re hoping for."
*Since moving to the midfield as a starter before the team’s game against Virginia on April 3, sophomore Joe Cummings has compiled nine goals and three assists. The Towson native and Loyola graduate said moving from attack required an adjustment. "It was definitely more of a physical change at first because it involves a different kind of running," he said. "But it’s also been a mental change because your perspective of the game is different. On attack, you’re dodging mostly from behind the goal, and in the midfield, you’re going from up top and you see things differently. And then you also have to worry about getting back on defense. So going to defensive studies and reviewing defensive film, I’m trying to catch up on 10 years of lost defensive knowledge and condensing it into a few weeks. It’s been fun."
*Jake and Jesse Bernhardt have been teammates throughout the youth, high school and college levels, and Jake Bernhardt, a sophomore midfielder, wouldn’t have had it any other way. "It’s awesome because we are so close," Bernhardt said of his brother, who is a freshman long-stick midfielder. "We’re not even a year apart. We’re 355 days apart. Jesse and I always shared a room when we were growing up, and we still share a room together here. I think it would be weird if he went somewhere else. So it’s a great opportunity that he decided to come here with me. He’s been playing great this year as a freshman, stepping up behind [redshirt junior] Brian Farrell. And Brian has helped him out so much. He’s like Jesse’s mentor and somebody that he looks up to. It’s just great to know that he’s on the team."
*This year’s senior class could be the first to have never tasted the experience of playing in a Final Four. That possibility has not been lost on Cottle. "For Maryland, that would be good, and for the kids, that would be good," he said. "But our goals are more than the Final Four. But if for some reason the season ended on Saturday, it wouldn’t diminish what I think about this team or how hard they worked or how hard they played for us. But these are our goals, and this is why we play. If we really like each other, we’ll play hard and play for another week."