Maryland men’s lacrosse won its first Big Ten game of the season Saturday, pulling away late from No. 15 Michigan for a 13-5 road win.
The Wolverines committed a crucial shot clock violation down 6-5 with 5:30 remaining in the third quarter, and the Terps scored the next seven goals to put the game out of reach. They won the fourth quarter 5-0, reversing a season-long trend of struggles in the final period.
With Connor Kelly not scoring a goal for the first time this season, Maryland’s underclassmen stepped up. Redshirt freshman Logan Wisnauskas had three goals and two assists, and true freshman Bubba Fairman also had a hat trick. Senior Colin Giblin had his most productive game in a Maryland uniform, adding two goals and an assist.
While the score makes it look like an easy win for Maryland, it didn’t feel that way for most of the game. Michigan won 13 of 22 faceoffs, and Tommy Heidt was a brick wall at times in goal, making 15 saves. Dan Morris matched Heidt’s stellar level of play with 10 saves of his own, and the Wolverines couldn’t match the Terps’ poise, committing 18 turnovers.
Both teams had plenty of opportunities in the first quarter, but both goalies were excellent as well. Morris made three saves, all at close range, and Heidt was everywhere, making six saves on eight shots on goal.
The Terps were still able to strike first when Jared Bernhardt drew two defenders and found a cutting Logan Wisnauskas right in front of the goal with 9:15 remaining in the opening frame. Brent Noseworthy answered back with a rifle of his own a minute later. The goalies continued to control the game for the next few minutes, but Anthony DeMaio found a cutting Giblin with 3:04 to go in the first quarter to retake the lead at 2-1. Michigan tied it less than a minute and a half into the second quarter when Noseworthy found Chase Young for the goal.
Maryland struggled with faceoffs in the first half, losing eight of the first 10, and took advantage of the Wolverines turnovers for scoring opportunities. Michigan had nine turnovers in the half, with Bryce Young scoring off an offsides call with 10:59 to go in the quarter. Chase Young beat Thomas O’Connell with 7:27 left in the quarter to tie the game at three, but it was all Terps after that.
Wisnauskas answered back to retake the lead less than a minute later, and Rotanz bounced one in off a failed clear to double the lead with 1:57 to go. John Tillman put Will Bonaparte in for faceoffs, and the senior won his first of the season, which led to a goal by Bernhardt. Just like that, Maryland had a 6-3 cushion heading into the locker room.
The Wolverines continued to control the X to start the third quarter, and got goals from Noseworthy and Young to cut Maryland’s lead to 6-5. They won the ensuing faceoff and had two possessions after that to tie the game, coming up empty on both. Michigan was called for a shot-clock violation on the second, and Drew Harrison raced down the field for his first career goal to give the Terps a 7-5 lead. Maryland got some more insurance with 1:27 to go off a bullet from Bubba Fairman on a man-up opportunity.
Unlike its last three games, the Terps dominated the fourth quarter. Fairman scored his second of the game with 12:45 to go, and Giblin matched Fairman with another goal with 9:15 remaining. Giblin continued to create, finding Wisnauskas right in front of the cage for an easy goal, and Austin Henningsen and Fairman both added goals to pad the lead.
The Terps are now 8-1 overall and 1-0 in Big Ten play and will travel to Happy Valley to take on Penn State next Sunday.
Three things to know
- Maryland dominated the fourth quarter. If there was any concern for the Terps so far this season, it’s been the final 15 minutes. Maryland completely flipped that trend in Ann Arbor, scoring five goals to turn the game into a rout.
- Both goalies were excellent. Dan Morris and Tommy Heidt put on a goaltending clinic on Saturday. Heidt kept Michigan in the game for most of the afternoon, making saves from every angle. Morris made some great saves as well, and was especially impressive from close range.
- Maryland struggled on faceoffs. Justin Shockey won the opening faceoff, and didn’t win another the rest of the first half. Tillman replaced him with Bonaparte, who won two in the first half, and then went back to Shockey in the second half. The freshman still struggled and was replaced by Henningsen, who wasn’t much better. For the first time in over a month, the Terps have some uncertainty at the X.