About 12 hours after Maryland men's lacrosse defeated rival Johns Hopkins last season, the sight at Maryland Stadium surprised coach John Tillman.
Following the Saturday night game, the Terps were scheduled to host local youth teams on Sunday morning. At about 9 a.m., children sprinted around the turf.
Surveying the field, Tillman noticed attackman Jared Bernhardt, who was disappointed with his performance in Maryland's 12-5 win, taking shots in the distance among the children. The then-freshman attempted three shots in the game but didn't find the back of the net.
The desire to improve stood out to Tillman, but it wasn't the first time Bernhardt impressed the No. 2 Terps' veteran coach. The Longwood, Florida, native always arrives in great shape and dedicates copious time to reviewing film, Tillman said.
Bernhardt's work ethic has made him an integral part of Maryland's attack five games into the season. He has scored 15 times and is five goals away from matching his 2017 production, leading the Terps' new-look attack.
"He's an embodiment of what we're about," midfielder Will Snider said. "What's missed in the stat line is the little things he does. He gets other guys open and helps everyone around him."
Snider knew a lot about Bernhardt before he arrived in College Park. Snider's brother played for the Terps with Bernhardt's siblings, and the two first met when Team USA was in Seattle, where Snider lives. He noticed Bernhardt's humble nature and admired his work ethic.
That element of Bernhardt's personality was emphasized in the fall, when the Terps attack adjusted to playing without Matt Rambo and Colin Heacock. Bernhardt, who admits he isn't much of a vocal leader, worked with freshman midfielder Bubba Fairman and the rest of the unit.
Maryland's youth has transitioned well ahead of Saturday's matchup with No. 1 Albany, and Bernhardt has been rewarded for his collaborative approach. He scored five times in the Terps' win against Marist on Feb. 13 and posted four goals to help Maryland secure a victory against High Point.
Bernhardt's three goals facing Notre Dame defenseman Arden Cohen stood out to Tillman.
"Instead of just trying to attack him with the ball, he did a good job of cutting off the ball," Tillman said. "He always keeps his head up. He seems so much more comfortable being down at attack."
After emerging as an offensive threat during his first season, Bernhardt is more knowledgeable of Maryland's attacking style.
Despite Bernhardt's spike in scoring, he's maintained the same approach. When practice concludes, the former No. 3 overall recruit in the country takes extra shots and reviews film, hoping to lead by example. If he fields a pass during a game and is open, he doesn't hesitate.
"It's a lot of decision making," Bernhardt said. "There's no special sauce or anything. If you have it, you have it. If you don't, you move it on to the next guy."
After failing to execute against Johns Hopkins in 2017, Bernhardt responded the following week in a win against Penn State. He scored on the one shot he attempted, but he wasn't complacent.
"The more you fail, that's going to help you succeed," Bernhardt said. "I look at the bad things [from games] and try to get on that."