No. 2 Maryland men’s lacrosse’s Big Ten slate continues this Saturday when Michigan comes to College Park.
The Terps are in the midst of a three-game winning streak, their most recent win coming over No. 11 Penn State.
Maryland held a five-goal lead — with sophomore midfielder Dante Trader Jr. recording two of the eight goals — just seconds into the second quarter, but Penn State stormed back and cut the deficit to two before halftime.
Neither team could heat up in the third quarter, leaving room for the Terps to pull away with relative ease in the fourth, defeating the Nittany Lions, 13-10.
Maryland is a perfect 10-0 all-time against Michigan and will look to maintain its unblemished record this weekend. The game will begin at 1 p.m. and air on ESPNU.
Michigan Wolverines (4-4, 0-1 Big Ten)
2022 record: 7-8 (0-5 Big Ten)
Head coach Kevin Conry is in his sixth year with Michigan, but is fairly familiar with head coach John Tillman and the Terps. Before his time in Ann Arbor, Conry spent five years as Maryland’s defensive coordinator, and the final two as associate head coach. He played a major role in the Terps’ 2017 national championship run and still receives high praise from Tillman.
“We always appreciate what guys do when they’re here, you know, the guys make a lot of sacrifices,” Tillman said. “Certainly appreciate, you know, what he did for our program.”
Conry has not found the same success with Michigan, though, finishing with a losing record in each of the last two seasons. The Wolverines are on the cusp of turning that around this year, however, and it starts with Saturday’s game.
Players to know
Josh Zawada, senior attackman, No. 9 – Zawada has been one of the best attackmen in the Big Ten since his freshman season. Last year, he set a program single-season record for points (77), goals (43) and assists (34). Zawada has not had the same production in 2023, tallying a team-high 17 goals and 12 assists, but is still the Wolverines’ biggest weapon.
Michael Boehm, junior attackman, No. 5 – Boehm has been one of Michigan’s most productive and efficient players since joining the team in 2021. He has a 0.444 shot percentage, which ranks 22nd in the nation, while tacking on a team-high 34 points with 16 goals and 18 assists. Boehm has a history of success against Maryland, recording five goals and four assists in three games, and will be a focal point of the Wolverine’s attack.
Ryan Cohen, sophomore attackman, No. 40 – Cohen is putting up near identical stats to Boehm this year, tallying the same number of points, goals and assists with a 0.333 shot percentage. He also scored four goals and tacked on one assist in the Wolverines’ 20-12 loss to Maryland last year. Cohen completes an attacking trio that can challenge any defense in the country.
Offense. Despite its 4-4 record, Michigan has one of the most potent offenses in the nation. It ranks 19th in points per game (21.25), 14th in assists per game (8.00) and fifth in shot percentage (0.343). Maryland’s ranks top-10 in scoring defense, though, making this a very intriguing matchup.
Goalie. Junior goalie Shane Carr has struggled throughout the first half of the season after being awarded an All-Big Ten second-team selection last year. Carr is allowing 14.87 goals per game on a 0.405 save percentage and has started in five of his six appearances. If Carr cannot return to his 2022 self, the Terps may tally their largest scoring total of the season.
Three things to know
1. Faceoffs. Senior Luke Wierman and the Terps face another tall task this week. Both graduate Nick Rowlett and junior Justin Wietfield have taken over 100 faceoffs and hold a win percentage above 0.590, propelling Michigan to the seventh-best faceoff win percentage (0.604) in the country. While Wierman still holds a higher win percentage (0.641) than the duo, it will be interesting to see if fresher legs prevail.
“Having two guys that are very effective is a great weapon,” Tillman said. “It’s just nice to have because you can maybe wear the other guy down.”
2. The Terps’ inefficiency issues. While Maryland only defeated Penn State by three, it could have won by many more. The Terps tallied 19 more shot attempts and 11 more faceoff victories, but inefficiency stifled their production. Michigan takes advantage of its shot attempts and does not turn the ball over, ranking 26th in the nation in turnovers per game (16.00), so Maryland can not take the Wolverines lightly.
3. Has Maryland found its rhythm? The Terps enter Saturday’s game on their largest winning streak of the season after taking down three consecutive opponents. Maryland has outscored its opponents by an average of 3.67 goals during this stretch, but Tillman still wants improvement out of his squad.
“When it came to critiquing just our level of execution, I do think there was a little bit of disappointment that we didn’t execute for four quarters on a really high level,” Tillman said of last week’s win against Penn State. “You got to maximize every opportunity you have and capitalize on those.”