Maryland men's lacrosse dropped its second game in a row, losing to No. 1 Notre Dame 9-4 after letting up five unanswered goals in the fourth quarter of Saturday's Pacific Coast Shootout matchup in California.
You couldn't tell from the scoreboard, but goalkeeper Kyle Bernlohr played yet another fantastic game between the posts to keep the Terps in the game as long as he could. Despite a bevy of highlight-reel saves, there was no answer for Notre Dame's high-powered attack
Maryland went toe-to-toe with the nation's top-ranked team for the entire first half, keeping the Fighting Irish to just two first half goals behind Bernlohr's five saves. Keep in mind this is a Notre Dame squad that unleashed 27 goals over its first three games this season.
But the Fighting Irish stormed out of the halftime break, scoring two unanswered goals to pressure the Terps' offense for some type of production.
With time dwindling in the third quarter, Bryan Cole strode uncontested to the cage to pull the Terps back within one. When Isaiah Davis-Allen cranked a long shot to tie the game at 4, Maryland's offense suddenly came alive. The Terps controlled their own destiny with possession under six minutes to play.
Like a domino effect, Notre Dame tallied five goals in what seemed like a matter of mere seconds to end Maryland's hopes of pulling off an upset in Costa Mesa.
Three Things to Know:
1. Maryland's record is irrelevant: Yes, the Terps are 1-2 on the season, including two losses against ranked opponents. However, Maryland really seems to be a great team figuring out how to play together. John Tillman's program is the unfortunate recipient of a grueling non-conference schedule, playing Yale and Notre Dame back-to-back with only a season opening match against High Point to prepare. Maryland will eventually string together wins and be will contending when push comes to shove; it's only a matter of time.
2. The offense might need to think outside the box: Maryland's offense failed to come alive against Yale, and ran into the same problem against Notre Dame's suffocating defense. The Terps have the weapons to dominate offensively, but five goals in each of the last two games is a little bit concerning with the season now fully under way. Tillman might need to think outside of the box to spark his offense, and has some options in freshman Louis Dubick and UMBC transfer Pat Young.
3. Playing "aggressive" still a work in progress: Terps fans have seen it for three straight games now, but Maryland's problem might be as simple as playing too lackadaisically. Against High Point in their season opener, the Terps let the Panthers score at ease before kicking it into high gear in the second half. A week later against Yale, Maryland dropped its first loss of the season after going cold offensively in the second half. Letting in five late game goals to the nation's best team is nothing to be ashamed of, but has to be aggravating considering the game was in the palm of their hands.