Four years ago, Maryland officially joined the Big Ten. That means this year, the Terps’ first group of athletes graduated knowing only conference games against Michigan and Ohio State instead of Duke and North Carolina. Here at Testudo Times, we thought we’d mark the occasion by looking back at Maryland’s short time in the conference so far, as well as what to expect in the future.
Let’s start off our “Maryland in the Big Ten” retrospective series with a countdown of the top 10 moments since the Terps joined the conference. The list covers national championships, record-breaking performances, and jaw-dropping plays. Of course, this ranking is subjective, so feel free to comment below with your own list.
#10: April 15, 2018 — Megan Whittle breaks Maryland women’s lacrosse’s goals record
Surpassing a legend is a great way to start this list. From the moment she stepped foot in College Park, Whittle scored at a torrid pace. During her junior year, she became the sixth Maryland player to reach 200 career goals, and she spent her senior year getting closer to Jen Adams’program record of 267. Whittle surpassed the record less than six minutes into the first half of a 20-5 win at Ohio State on a free-position shot, and scored 30 more times before her career ended in the Final Four against Boston College. Her 298 goals are second in NCAA history.
#9: Nov. 15, 2016 — Kevin Huerter’s block seals Maryland’s win over Georgetown
The first basketball highlight in our top 10 comes from the Red Mamba. Before becoming a first-round pick, Huerter’s introduction to Maryland fans was blocking Jagan Mosely’s last-second layup to help the Terps complete an epic comeback over Georgetown. Huerter’s reaction is almost as good as the block itself, as he coldly walks away and chest-bumps Jared Nickens.
#8: March 30, 2015 — Women’s basketball advances to Final Four with 30th straight win
Outside of both lacrosse programs, Maryland women’s basketball has been the most successful team since transitioning to the Big Ten. The Terps’ debut in the conference was the most successful, as they won 30 straight games and advanced to a second straight Final Four. In getting to Tampa, Maryland knocked off undefeated Princeton, former ACC rival Duke, and blue blood Tennessee.
#7: Nov. 1, 2014 — Maryland football beats Penn State
This game had everything. Maryland’s captains refusing to shake hands with Penn State’s. A second-half comeback. A clutch field goal. Combined with a win at Michigan, Maryland’s first football season in the Big Ten was one to remember.
(Let’s not talk about what happened after that, though.)
#6: May 24, 2015 — Maryland’s women’s lacrosse beats North Carolina for second straight national title
A comeback win in the national championship game over your biggest rival? Yeah, that gets you on this list. Up until this year’s Final Four, North Carolina had been the only team in the past six years that didn’t fear Maryland. The Tar Heels beat the Terps in triple-overtime to win the 2013 national title, then again in Chapel Hill during the 2014 regular season. Maryland got revenge in the 2015 regular season, but found itself down 6-3 at halftime in the championship game. Facing its largest halftime deficit of the season, the Terps stormed back for a 9-8 win and another national championship.
#5: June 1, 2015 — Maryland baseball wins UCLA Regional
In 2014, the Terps qualified for their first NCAA Tournament in 43 years and won the Columbia Regional. The next year, John Szefc’s team won the Los Angeles Regional in dramatic fashion. After being one of the last teams in the NCAA Tournament, Maryland won its first game against Ole Miss and beat the top-seeded Bruins the next day. UCLA beat the Terps to stay alive a day later, setting up a win or go-home game to advance to the Super Regionals. Leading 2-1 with runners on the corners in the top of the ninth inning, Kevin Mooney struck out Darrell Miller Jr. on a 2-2 curveball to keep the Terps dancing.
#4: Sept. 4, 2015 — Maryland men’s soccer beats No. 1 UCLA
What was it about Maryland-UCLA in 2015? Three months after baseball won a regional at the Bruins’ home field, men’s soccer upset top-ranked UCLA at Ludwig Field. Sebastian Elney’s header in the 96th minute sent the 8,449 fans in attendance into a frenzy, even breaking one of the railings in the student section.
Two years later, Elney broke UCLA’s heart again in overtime. For some reason, UCLA is coming to Maryland again on Sept. 4.
#3: Sept. 2, 2017 — Maryland football upsets No. 23 Texas
The stage was set for Tom Herman’s Texas coaching debut to be a resounding triumph. Maryland had other ideas. After a pick-six on their first pass of the game, the Terps scored 27 unanswered points in a 51-41 win. It was Maryland’s first win over a ranked team since 2010 and looked like the start of something special, until the ACL injuries happened.
#2: March 4, 2017 — Melo Trimble sinks last-second shot against Michigan State
There could be a whole list of great plays from the Upper Marlboro native. The crossover of Tum-Tum Nairn. Taking Nate Britt’s soul on the court. Showing major onions at Wisconsin. Instead, here’s the final shot he ever took at Xfinity Center.
Melo Trimble! He hits the game-winning 3-pointer for Maryland with under a second left to beat Michigan State! pic.twitter.com/Ufies6MeII— Chat Sports (@ChatSports) March 4, 2017
#1: May 28 and 29, 2017 — Maryland lacrosse becomes the Lax Capital of the World
Memorial Day Weekend 2017 will always be one to remember for Maryland lacrosse fans. A year after falling just short of a title, both teams raised the trophy in back-to-back days. The women’s team capped off an undefeated season with a 16-13 win over Boston College, and the men’s team won its first title since 1975 with a 9-6 win over Ohio State. Both wins were well-earned, as the women’s team had to fight off an Eagles team that wouldn’t roll over, and Tim Rotanz buried a shot from half field to stave off the Buckeyes comeback attempt.
Nov. 12, 2017 — Maryland field hockey beats Duke to advance to the Final Four (beating Duke always deserves recognition)