Maryland men’s lacrosse lost its first game of the new season on Sunday, falling to No. 17 Notre Dame 14-13 in an overtime heartbreaker.
The No. 2 Terps jumped out to an early lead, but Notre Dame closed the first half on a 6-1 run to take a 7-5 advantage into the break. Although the Irish pulled ahead by as many as four goals in the second half, Maryland made a charge at the end, scoring the tying goal with 16 seconds left to force overtime. In sudden death, though, it was Notre Dame’s Brian Willetts who buried the game-winner.
Will Snider had his best game of the season to this point, leading the Maryland offense with three goals. Jared Bernhardt and Logan Wisnauskas each finished with two a piece, while freshman Kyle Long scored his first two goals in a Maryland uniform. Bubba Fairman and Louis Dubick each had one.
For the Irish, Brendan Gleason led the way with four goals, while Willets and Colin Morin had three each.
Notre Dame was able to outshoot Maryland, getting up 37 shots to Maryland’s 33, while the Terps got the better of the Irish in shots on goal with 22 to Notre Dame’s 20. The Terps did win the ground-ball battle, outscooping the Irish 36-26, and Maryland led 20-10 in faceoffs.
Maryland’s strong first-quarter start was buoyed by a dominant performance from Austin Henningsen, who finished the period winning seven of eight draws and helped the Terps offense hold the ball for most of the quarter. Dubick scored just 12 seconds into the game, with Wisnauskas, Fairman and Long adding goals of their own to bring Maryland’s first quarter total to four.
Notre Dame responded, though, going on a 3-0 run from the end of the first into the second to draw back even. Henningsen was able to continue his success on faceoffs, but the Notre Dame defense stifled the Terp attack possession after possession. From the 5:33 mark in the first quarter, Maryland scored just one goal in the next 20 minutes of play, a severe departure from the success of the first 10 minutes.
The Notre Dame run, coupled with Maryland’s ineffectiveness offensively, gave the Irish a 7-5 lead into the half.
It was much of the same in the second half from the Irish offense, scoring on four consecutive possessions at one point to put Notre Dame ahead 11-7. Snider was doing all he could to keep his team in the game, scoring three goals in the third quarter after shooting just 1-of-19 coming into this game to keep the Terps behind just three. A Bernhardt goal just before the end of the quarter cut the deficit to two heading into the final period.
It was a thriller by the end of the fourth quarter, as Maryland continued to battle back and was able to tie the game with 10 minutes left. Notre Dame would go back up two, but Maryland wouldn’t go away and fought back to tie it up, the tying goal coming off a mad scramble for the ball that ended with Anthony DeMaio putting away the equalizer to send it to overtime.
GOAL DEMAIOOOOOOOO!— Maryland Lacrosse (@TerpsMLax) March 3, 2019
Crazy sequence turns into a goal and we have a TIE Game! pic.twitter.com/DesXafeis7
Maryland committed a holding penalty just before the end of regulation, granting the Irish possession and an extra-man opportunity to begin the overtime period. Tillman’s defense was able to kill the penalty, but Notre Dame was able to hold possession long enough to get Brian Willetts the look he needed to end the game, wrapping around the crease and beating Danny Dolan to hand Maryland their first loss of the season.
The Terps’ tough schedule continues next Saturday at Albany.
Three things to know
1. This was a tough place for Maryland to play. With a windchill of 13 degrees in South Bend, this game was held indoors in Notre Dame’s Loftus Sports Center. On a field that’s six yards tighter than a normal field, with a low roof and a loud away crowd, it looked like the kind of environment that’s difficult to come out of with a win.
2. Maryland dominated on faceoffs, but still didn’t get enough chances. The duo of Austin Henningsen and Justin Shockey had a strong day for the Terps, winning 20 out of 30 faceoffs. That should’ve given Maryland a significant enough advantage to pull this one out, but the Notre Dame defense suffocated the Terps’ attack and was able to overcome the Irish’s struggles at the faceoff X. Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan is known for having strong defenses year after year, and he got the better of Tillman and offensive coordinator J.L. Reppert on Sunday.
3. Maryland’s extra-man unit needs to improve. The Terps went 0-for-3 on extra-man opportunities, a continuation of a problem that’s been plaguing Maryland all season. The Terps now sit at 3-for-16 (.187) so far in 2019, far from their .581 conversion percentage from last season. A goal on at least one of those opportunities could’ve had a massive impact on this game.