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No. 2 Maryland men’s lacrosse drops first regular-season game since 2020 in 12-7 loss to Loyola (Md.)

The Terps’ lengthy regular-season win streak came to a close Saturday.

Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics
Twitter @TerpsMLax

Every time No. 2 Maryland men’s lacrosse scored a goal, Loyola (Md.) immediately responded with one of its own.

After Loyola took a 2-0 lead in the first quarter, the Greyhounds matched the Terps throughout the next three quarters and held an 8-6 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.

While attempting to kick-start Maryland’s offense, redshirt senior midfielder Jack Brennan passed to an unaware Owen Murphy. The ball bounced off Murphy’s chest and into the hands of Loyola, who instantly started a fast break.

With defenders closing in, graduate short-stick defensive midfielder Payton Rezanka dumped the ball off to senior short-stick defensive midfielder Mustang Sally, who flung it at the net.

Sally’s shot trickled through the legs of senior goalie Logan McNaney and gave the Greyhounds their largest lead of the game.

Loyola rattled off three more goals before the Terps scored one and defeated the reigning national champions, 12-7, ending Maryland’s nearly three-year regular-season win streak on Saturday in Baltimore. Maryland had not lost any game since the national championship in 2021.

“Obviously disappointed, but you got to tip your hat,” head coach John Tillman said. “We just could not get over the hump and get the goal to go ahead and that’s a credit to them.”

The first quarter was defined by defense, as neither team could break through on the offensive end.

Loyola senior midfielder Adam Poitras opened the scoring with a missile into the back of the net. Poitras’ goal gave the Greyhounds a 1-0 lead and put Maryland in its first deficit of the season.

The next 10 minutes consisted of impressive saves and missed shots as both offenses were stagnant.

Loyola senior midfielder Evan James ended the scoring drought with 2:30 remaining in the first quarter. With sophomore defenseman Colin Burlace in coverage, the Greyhounds ran a pick play which gave James just enough space to load up and fire the ball right past senior goalie Logan McNaney.

Down 2-0 with time dwindling in the first quarter, the Terps desperately needed to score. Junior atttackman Daniel Kelly answered the call with 1:14 remaining, as he snuck past the Greyhound’s backline and had an open shot on goal.

Loyola regained its two-goal lead early in the second quarter when junior midfielder Seth Higgins scored a long-distance shot that just barley got past McNaney.

The Greyhounds’ two-goal lead did not make through the second quarter, though, as Maryland’s offense woke up. The Terps completely erased the deficit within the span of a minute, as Brennan and Kelly rattled off consecutive goals.

Then with under two minutes remaining in the first half, James shot a missile right past McNaney’s head.

Senior midfielder Kyle Long answered James’ goal with one of his own, but Loyola retook the lead before halftime as freshman attackman Henry Haberman scored a last-second goal.

Senior attackman Daniel Maltz scored the first goal of the second half, but Loyola refused to let the Terps make up any ground, scoring two unanswered goals in the next three minutes.

The two teams traded goals at the end of the third quarter, giving Loyola a two-goal lead heading into the fourth.

The Greyhounds did not let up in the final 15 minutes, scoring four consecutive goals on their way to a 12-7 upset win.

Three things to know

1. Loyola’s question marks at goalie were answered. Sam Shafer was the Greyhounds starting goalie for the past three seasons, but with his eligibility running out, Loyola was left with a hole in the net. Junior Luke Staudt was set to start in place of Shafer, but his lack of experience left many questions to be answered. However, this quickly became a non factor as Staudt was sharp from minute one, finishing the game with 19 saves and allowing just seven goals to one of the best offenses in the nation.

2. The Terps’ offense was sloppy. After an impressive performance in its season-opener against Richmond, Maryland’s offense struggled against Loyola. The Terps attempted 42 shots on goal, making just seven, and turned the ball over 22 times. Kelly was the lone bright spot for Maryland, who scored four goals on nine shots.

“There’s a difference between the performer and the performance, and our performance wasn’t great today, but we got great performers,” Tillman said. “Whether we won or lost, we’re going to look at it the same way we always do. We’re going to get back to work on Monday and look at where we can get better.”

3. Maryland dropped its first regular season game since 2019. Things did not seem right from the get-go in Saturday’s match. The Terps fell into an early 2-0 deficit and did not score through the first 13 minutes. McNaney, who is one of the best goalies in the nation, allowed a few easy goals and Maryland’s offense had more than a few rough patches. Now in an unfamiliar situation, it will be interesting to see how Maryland responds against Syracuse next weekend.

“Obviously, not a great feeling being on this side of things, haven’t had to do it a lot recently, but, you know, I know the group we have and there’s a lot left to play for,” graduate defenseman Brett Makar said.