Michael Shakespeare’s best year at Maryland was 2010 when as a sophomore, he scored five goals.
Last year, however, that number dropped to one. But it wasn’t due to ineffectiveness or injury.
Shakespeare spent last season as one of the team’s top short-stick defensive midfielders, concentrating on limiting opponents rather than scoring on them.
But this year, the senior is back on the offensive end, and he punctuated his return with the first hat trick of his career in the No. 8 Terps’ 16-11 victory over host Georgetown Friday night at Multi-Sport Field in Washington, D.C.
“It’s nice,” Shakespeare said of his familiar role. “I played a little offensive middie in my sophomore year, and then kind of made the transition. The team needed me as a short-stick defensive middie last year, and I just do what the team needs. This fall, I worked real hard in the offseason to hone the offensive skills, and it’s good to get out there and get a few goals. It felt good.”
For Shakespeare, the three goals represented almost half of the seven goals he had scored in his first three seasons at Maryland, but his display pleased coach John Tillman.
“Michael’s a guy that has been willing to do anything we’ve asked him to do,” he said. “So you’re always proud of those guys that are selfless. And when they get their opportunities, they make the most of them. I couldn’t be happier for Michael. He’s just a true team guy.”
Shakespeare still plays defense, sprinting back when the opponent attempts to take advantage in transition. It’s a physically taxing task for Shakespeare, but it’s one that he’s well-prepared for.
“I’ll be sore on Saturday,” he acknowledged. “I’m probably going to need two ice packs, but it’s fun. I like playing both ways.”
*The Terps won 11-of-13 faceoffs in the first half courtesy of junior Curtis Holmes. But he won just 4-of-14 in the second half as he struggled with Georgetown redshirt sophomore defenseman Tyler Knarr, who won 11 draws with a long pole in his hands. “I think you saw late in the game, they might have found a pretty good faceoff guy there,” Tillman noted. “And if he had faced off early in the game, who knows what happens. Tyler Knarr, he was beating Curtis late in the game, and if he had faced off early, who knows what happens.”
*The Hoyas opened the game with senior goalkeeper C.T. Fisher (nine saves), but went to sophomore Jake Haley (seven saves) after halftime. Coach Dave Urick seemed to hint that the switch was something brewing in the works. “It was a question in our minds up until [Thursday],” he said. “Which guy was going to go? We have faith in three of our goalkeepers and felt like C.T. was the right guy to go with initially. But I think playing Jake was a good thing to do. I think he’s going to be playing lacrosse for us at some point, and it might be sooner rather than later [although] that remains to be seen. But – and we have [senior] Matt Winter as well – we feel pretty good about all three of them.”
*On Maryland’s end, Tillman said the coaches had anticipated that Fisher would start. But they also reviewed film of Haley at Queen Anne’s County High School to get a feel of his game. The one thing they did not do, however, was ask Terps sophomore attackman Quinn Haley for a scouting report on his older brother. “I promised Quinn I would not ask him about his brother because I didn’t want to have that conversation with him,” Tillman said. “I felt like it was a tough spot to put Quinn in. Quinn doesn’t say much anyway. So I didn’t ask Quinn. I did my own homework.”