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Maryland men’s lacrosse destroys Johns Hopkins, 12-5, to clinch Big Ten regular season title

The Terps jumped out to an early lead and never looked back.

NCAA Lacrosse: Semifinals - Johns Hopkins Blue Jays vs. Maryland Terrapins Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland men’s lacrosse’s final home game of the season was never much of a contest. But the 115th installment of “The Rivalry” was a night to remember in College Park.

The No. 5 Terps dominated No. 8 Johns Hopkins, 12-5, to finish the regular season atop the Big Ten standings. Maryland jumped out with six goals in the first quarter, and it was 8-0 before the Blue Jays even got on the board. The Terps put the game on autopilot in the second half, cruising easily to a 12-5 win.

Senior attackman Matt Rambo, as he’s been so many times before, was the man of the evening. Entering the game, he needed six points to become Maryland’s all-time scoring leader, passing Bob Boneillo’s record of 231 points set in 1980. He broke the record early in the second quarter and finished with three goals and four assists.

Junior midfielder Connor Kelly and senior attackman Colin Heacock added four points of their own in the win. Kelly led the team with four goals, while Heacock netted three and added an assist.

Maryland’s defense put the Blue Jays offense in a chokehold, forcing bad shot after bad shot. More than half of Hopkins’ first-half shots missed the cage entirely. Maryland also flat out seemed to want this game more. The Terps nearly doubled up Hopkins in ground balls, scooping up 27 to the Blue Jays’ 15. Maryland converted many of those ground balls into goals, building an eight-goal halftime lead.

Hopkins controlled the opening faceoff, but that was one of few positives on the evening for the Blue Jays. Maryland rattled off six first-quarter goals and never looked back. Morris was a brick wall in the crease, coming up with four saves in the first quarter.

Almost the entire second quarter was played in Hopkins’ offensive third. The Blue Jays only managed to get four shots off in the period and only one found the back of the net. The Terps scored two goals early in the quarter to make it 8-0, and they led 9-1 at halftime.

With Maryland’s stifling defense, that margin was insurmountable. Each team scored twice in the third quarter, but Hopkins never really threatened to climb back into the game. The Blue Jays repeatedly gave away possession with sloppy passing and by failing to back up their shots.

With the win and Ohio State’s loss on Saturday afternoon, Maryland clinched the outright Big Ten regular season title. The Terps will play Penn State in the conference semifinals Thursday.

Three things to know

  1. This game got out of hand fast. You’d think a matchup between the No. 5 and No. 8 teams in the country should probably be a close game. Most of the time, you’d be right, but that was not the case Saturday. Maryland dominated this game from the first possession to the last, giving up only five goals on 24 possessions. Conversely, Maryland scored 12 times on 29 possessions.
  2. Matt Rambo is Maryland’s new all-time leader in points. His six first half points (seven total) moved him from third all the way up to first. He’s got 233 now, and can add to that in the postseason. It was the senior’s last game in College Park, and he went out with a bang.
  3. With this win, Maryland is the Big Ten regular season champion. The win guarantees the Terps the top seed in next week’s Big Ten Conference Championship. It’s Maryland’s fifth consecutive regular season championship, dating back to the old ACC days.