Prior to this season, the anticipated return of Jake Bernhardt was expected to anchor Maryland’s midfield as he registered 14 goals and three assists as a junior last season.
But a shoulder injury has sidelined Bernhardt through the team’s first three games. That might sound like a liability, but the play of the starting midfield of senior Drew Snider (five goals and two assists), junior John Haus (4, 5) and redshirt sophomore Mike Chanenchuk (3, 2) builds in a cushion for coach John Tillman to ease Bernhardt back to the team at a reasonable pace.
“Whatever [the medical staff tells] us we should to do, I’m going to trust them and say, ‘That’s what we need to do,’” Tillman said Monday. “We’re always going to exercise caution with our guys. We care too much about them, and we’ve just got to make sure that they’re healthy and not at a point where they could hurt themselves before we put them back in. We’re always going to err on the side of caution.”
Bernhardt hasn’t returned to practice and is not expected to return this week for contests at UMBC Tuesday night and against Marist at home Saturday, but Tillman said he has seen signs of progress for Bernhardt.
“He’s got no sling on his shoulder right now,” Tillman said. “He was actually jogging the other day. It’s just nice to see him look like a normal guy in street clothes, which is great.”