COLLEGE PARK, Md. — The University of Maryland men's lacrosse team will face Vermont in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.
Maryland is a #3 seed in this tournament after being ranked number one for a big chunk of the season leading to conference play. But Terps head coach, John Tillman, isn't focused on where they stand, he's focused on showing everyone where they belong.
"Let's make the most of it and just know that you have to play your best lacrosse right now, and maybe it helps that I've been in this thing seeded first, I've been in this thing unseeded and we've been able to get to the game we've wanted to get to a bunch of ways. So, there's a path, let's just make the most of the path that we have," said Tillman.
The Terps are being led by top scorer, Jared Bernhardt. He was named the Big Ten Tournament MVP after racking up 13 points on 10 goals and three assists. He is also Maryland's all-time points leader and has the single-season goals record for the Terps.
Jared is the youngest of three Bernhardt brothers, all lacrosse stars in their own right.
Older brother, Jake also played at Maryland, and currently plays for the Ohio Machine in Major League Lacrosse (MLL) lacrosse player. He also happens to be the assistant coach at Vermont.
Middle brother, Jesse, also played at Maryland and was a professional in the MLL with the Chesapeake Bayhawks. Currently, he's Maryland's assistant coach. So this Sunday, these three brothers will have quite a reunion.
"Obviously there's always going to be brotherly love and those strong relationships, but there's also a competitive side to all brothers. That competitive side will always be there. It's part of the makeup of the Bernhardt's. On both sides, there's a duty to their teammates and their team to make sure they prepare and are as professional as possible. But in the end, one team is going to win and one is going to lose," said Tillman.
This won't be the first time these three brothers have been a part of the same game. In 2020, Maryland and Vermont scrimmaged each other before the season.
"We were able to have all the boys together for that scrimmage in 2020, and then it was kind of neat because Vermont's head coach, Chris Feifs, is also a Terp," said Tillman.
Feifs played for the Terrapins from 2004-07, helping Maryland reach the NCAA Semifinals in 2005 and 2006.
Maryland will put its perfect record on the line Sunday at 2:30 p.m. against Vermont, as the Terps make their 18th straight NCAA tournament appearance.