Last summer, a week after the Maryland men's lacrosse team defeated Ohio State in the national championship game, attackman Colin Giblin felt a newfound sense of urgency. The Bethesda native had spent his first three seasons as a Terp primarily on the scout team and wanted to make an impact in his senior year.
So he and midfielder Christian Zawadzki decided to spend the summer in College Park, where they could train and work together.
During fall practices, it was unclear Giblin's efforts would be rewarded. He bounced between the Terps' scout team and second line.
But Giblin's improvements have been recognized in the spring, and he's appeared in every game and emerged as an offensive threat for No. 2 Maryland. With three scores and three assists, he's already surpassed his production from last year.
"He's a guy who has improved in so many ways since his arrival," coach John Tillman said. "He's gotten stronger and faster. His skill set is a lot better. Spending a lot of time on the scout team has really developed him as a player."
Giblin — whose dad was a distinguished lacrosse coach at Georgetown Prep — wasn't highly recruited when he played there, Tillman said. He had a Maryland offer but knew the Terps had just welcomed a recruiting class with several left-handed players, meaning he would have to compete for playing time as a fellow lefty.
Still, Giblin had experience overcoming adversity and wanted to be a Terp. After his dad gave him his first lacrosse stick at 5 years old, Giblin expected to receive preferential treatment from his father. Instead, the elder Giblin "was ripping into [him] when [he] was 7 or 8." He fought through a hip injury his senior year of high school.
Giblin was part of Maryland's second line in the team's season opener against Navy. As the Terps took the field, Giblin got lost in the moment. Then, he was called on about halfway through the first quarter. He dished a pass to midfielder Ethan Mintzer, who found the net to give Maryland an early advantage.
"It was one of the greatest experiences of my life heading on that field," Giblin said. "Putting three years in and then your opportunity comes — it's awesome."
Giblin also earned an assist in Maryland's 12-10 win against then-No. 8 Notre Dame, connecting with midfielder Connor Kelly on a transition opportunity that helped the Terps double their lead about halfway through the second quarter.
Tillman said Giblin got banged up in Maryland's win against then-No. 20 North Carolina and didn't practice for a few days. But Giblin proved to be healthy before the Michigan game and scored his third goal of the season about three minutes before the end of the first quarter.
"All of the credit goes to my teammates," Giblin said. "Kelly consistently finds guys off-ball. It's my job to get open and finish."
Giblin is still trying to gain consistency with his right hand, but his work over the summer has paid off, leading to the best season of his career.
"He's had to step up in a big role," midfielder Bubba Fairman said. "We lost so many great players last year. He's stepped up and not only filled the role he needed to, he's gone above and beyond that."