Maryland attackman Ryan Young will play in this weekend’s ACC tournament, coach John Tillman said Thursday. Young’s mother, Maria, died late Sunday.
Maria Young was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2008. (For a more in-depth look, please read this feature from the Diamondback’s Jakob Engelke).
“He’s going with us,” said Tillman, whose team meets North Carolina in Friday’s semifinals at Duke’s Koskinen Stadium. “It’s been tough for him and all the guys that are close to him. He lives with like 10 guys and Maria is obviously pretty tight with them. We had some guys in tears at practice. We didn’t know if we’d practice Monday. He had to figure out where those guys were at.”
Tillman said it was a tumultuous time for the Terrapins (8-3). Maryland lost 12-11 in overtime to Johns Hopkins on Saturday night, then learned of Maria Young’s death barely a day later.
Then there’s the element of a slightly shortened week. Maryland would play Sunday for the league title if it beats the Tar Heels.
“It’s been a very, very weird week with Ryan’s situation,” Tillman said. “Emotionally, it’s been really draining. … It’s tough for the guys right now. Kids are kids. I’m sensitive to how they feel and the emotions they have. My job is to keep an eye on all that. Sometimes, a lacrosse game can be important and therapeutic, but I’m just worried about where they are mentally.”
—- Patrick Stevens