Saturday, May 26, 2018

Concord-Carlisle's Brozowski Hopes to Capture Another NCAA Lax Title With Maryland

Concord-Carlisle alum Nick Brozowski will again take the field for Maryland in the NCAA Lacrosse Final Four at Gillette Stadium, and he's dreaming of another national title.  Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics.
By Michael Abelson (@ABELS0N)

Foxborough, Mass. - Last year Nick Brozowski had the ball in his stick as the clock ran out on the NCAA Division 1 Lacrosse national championship game.

The Concord native threw his stick, gloves, and helmet into the air at Gillette Stadium as he, and the Maryland lacrosse team, celebrated the program's first national title in 42 years.

Now a redshirt junior, Brozowski and the Terps are back in the Final Four in Foxboro, looking to cement their spot in Terrapin lore.

“It’s awesome to get here,” Brozowski said. “I think we always have that goal to get to the Final Four. At the end of the day it isn’t about getting here. Now is the time you need to buckle down and ,be the most precise on everything you do.”

As Maryland’s starting long-stick midfielder, Brozowski helps anchor the Terrapin defense, and is having an even better season than he had last year. He’s improved his ground balls from 26 to 35 this season, and also has eight forced turnovers. Both numbers are tied for third on the top-seeded Terrapins.

The Terps are 14-3 this season, and have been led by a veteran core and consistent performances on the field. In all but two games this season Maryland has scored between 10-14 goals. Maryland’s two tournament wins to get them to Gillette were 14-11 over Robert Morris and 13-8 over Cornell in the quarterfinal.

In today’s semifinal, Maryland matches up against Duke, the last team to win back-to-back national titles, a feat the Blue Devils accomplished back in 2013 and 2014. A potential rematch with Albany awaits Maryland in the national final. Albany gave Maryland it’s first loss of this season, 11-10, back on March 10.

“I think right now it’s all about who has the most complete team,” Brozowski said. “Who can go into the bench depth-wise. It’s going to be real hot so we know we can’t just rely on specific players. We need to make sure we can go far into our bench. We have confidence in every single that’s going out on that field.”

Now in his fourth year in the program, Brozowski has kept improving and has taken on a leadership role on the team.

“Nick’s been a terrific leader for us,” Maryland coach John Tillman said. “This is year four for him. He’s a redshirt-junior but he’s led like a senior this year. I think that’s the way he’s looked at it. We’ve been the benefactor of that. Nick takes pride in doing things the right way. He’s the guy who puts a lot of pressure on himself to set a good example and make sure he’s looking out for the younger players. His leadership has been huge.”

This is Maryland’s fifth Final Four appearance in a row, and a win on Saturday would send Maryland to its fourth straight title game. During that stretch the Terps are 65-17, and keep finding new ways to stay motivated and working to improve on the field.

“I think the coaches do a tremendous job of giving us that edge,” Brozowski said. “They’ll push us mentally, physically to give us that mentality. Also it’s us as players. Now that we’ve experienced it and been here, we know the heartbreak of a loss so we don’t forget about those losses. As much fun as it is to win, the losses almost carry with you more. We remember two years ago, so we try to instill that in the younger guys who haven’t felt that yet.”

Playing in his home state once again, Brozowski said that he expects to have numerous friends, family, and old Concord-Carlisle teammates in attendance in Foxboro.

“I've got a big crowd coming so that’s really exciting and special to me,” Brozowski said. “You can’t take it for granted. This is something that thousands of kids would die to have. The fact that I’ve gotten to do it two years in a row is something I have to cherish, and it’s something I’ll remember for the rest of my life. I want to enjoy the moment, but I’m also here to win it all.”

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