At the MLL Chesapeake Bayhawks' Maryland Men's Lacrosse Night on Thursday, two generations of Maryland lacrosse celebrated the program's 2017 national championship victory against Ohio State.
Members of the 1975 NCAA championship team lined up at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis to shake hands with the 2017 champions, bridging a 42-year gap between titles.
The Terps of past and present — joined by current coach John Tillman — formed a huddle before the game and paid homage to two-time title-winning coach Bud Beardmore, who died last year. Together, they yelled his slogan, "be the best."
While Tillman holds an impressive 96-29 record in his seven years as Maryland's coach, winning the championship this season allowed his team to call itself the best in the nation.
"[The slogan] really sunk in with these guys, what it means to go that extra fourth quarter and be the best," said Andre Pantelides, a member of the 1975 team. "Anybody can get to the top, but staying there is hard. So I think that these guys really know what that meant."
The Bayhawks boast eight former Terps on their active roster, including three of the four 2017 captains — Colin Heacock, Nick Manis and Isaiah Davis-Allen. Chesapeake general manager Dave Cottle coached Maryland from 2002 to 2010.
Heacock, Manis and Davis-Allen joined their former teammates on the field with the championship trophy before heading to the locker room with a 12-6 halftime lead over the Florida Launch.
"Knowing that it had been a long time, it was important for us to try to win it — again, not just for ourselves but for everybody," Tillman said. "That's what kind of made this thing go. It wasn't just about those 49 guys in the locker room. This was for our alums, for the school, for our state and in turn, the support — without that support we never get it done."
Manis earned his first action of the season, while former Terp Brian Farrell scored a two-point goal from the top of the crease. Farrell, who was picked up this year by the Bayhawks, ran coast-to-coast before his bouncing effort found the back of the net. Former Terps goalkeeper Niko Amato recorded six saves in the first half and finished with nine overall to help Chesapeake earn an 18-10 victory.
Tim Muller, the fourth Maryland captain on the championship-winning team, was drafted No. 10 by the Launch in the 2017 MLL Draft. However, he's yet to play this season, having requested a release from the team.
Still, Muller joined his former teammates at a pregame picnic and enjoyed seeing the 1975 team in attendance. He said Maryland's recent success has set the program up to flourish moving forward.
"A lot of them are in the All-Star Game, a lot of them are in the USA tryouts, so just seeing everyone succeed is great for the program," Muller said. "It's about time we got it done for the state of Maryland, too, so to have the professional team here to bring us in is awesome."
Davis-Allen, Heacock and Manis combined for five ground ball pickups. But the highlight of Davis-Allen's night was standing with his former Terps teammates in front of 4,420 fans in Annapolis with the 2017 NCAA Championship trophy cradled in Tillman's arms.
"I've told so many people, just going from losing it twice to now actually winning it and just taking peeks back at it, like what just happened today, it's crazy, man, crazy," Davis-Allen said. "It's been a long time coming, for sure."