In a rematch of the 2017 national title game, Maryland men’s lacrosse defeated Ohio State 10-9 in a wild overtime thriller.
It was a defensive battle for most of the game, with Maryland got out to a comfortable four goal lead in the first half, but had to weather a spirited comeback from Ohio State. The Buckeyes went on a run to begin the second half to cut the deficit to two going into the fourth quarter, and then took their first lead of the game with 3:40 remaining. But Logan Wisnauskas tied the score in the final minute, and Jared Bernhardt buried the winner in overtime.
The scoring was spread out across the board for Maryland, as Wisnauskas scored three including a big one at the end of regulation, while Bernhardt scored twice, including the game-winner. Five other Terps had one goal each, and Ohio State’s nine goals came from seven different players.
Both teams finished with 19 shots on goal and were close to even in total shots, but Ohio State’s Justin Inacio got the better of Austin Henningsen and Justin Shockey at the faceoff X, winning 15 of 23 draws with many of those wins fueling Ohio State’s comeback effort. The Buckeyes also came out on top in the ground-ball battle, grabbing 31 to Maryland’s 21.
Neither team found much of a rhythm offensively in the early going, primarily as a result of strong goalkeeping and defensive play. Danny Dolan made a couple of impressive stops en route to four saves in the first quarter, while Ohio State’s defense blocked multiple shots to keep things level. The Terps started to get going late in the quarter, though, with Logan Wisnauskas scoring the first two to get things rolling and Anthony DeMaio and Russell Masci each adding a goal to put Maryland up 4-1 after 15 minutes.
It was another slow start for the Terps and Buckeyes in the second frame, with both teams scoring just a goal each through the first 10 minutes of the quarter. Masci built on what ended up being a strong first half for him, finding fellow second-line midfielder Christian Zawadzki for a goal to give Masci a goal and an assist in the half. Zawadzki’s goal was one of just three scored in the quarter, with two going to Maryland and just one for the Buckeyes to put the Terps up 6-2 going into the break.
Like it did against Johns Hopkins last week, Ohio State came out in the second half primed for a comeback, scoring three unanswered goals to draw within one. A couple of unfortunate bounces didn’t do the Terps any favors either, having a couple shots either hit the pipe, deflect off the keeper, or just missing the back of the net. Roman Puglise took an offensive approach near the end of the period and scored just before the horn, giving Maryland their only goal of the quarter to keep Maryland ahead 7-5 going into the fourth.
Both teams started trading goals coming down the stretch, with Ohio State fighting to keep it at a one-goal game. The Buckeyes eventually ended up equalizing late in the quarter coming off a goal from Jack Jasinski, scoring again on their next possession to go ahead by one with 3:40 remaining. Maryland had opportunities offensively to tie it back up, and with 30 seconds left in the game, Wisnauskas answered the call and tied it back up for the Terps and send the game to overtime tied at 9-9.
In overtime, Inacio finally slipped up and committed a faceoff violation, giving Maryland the ball first. The Terps got it to the guy they’ve leaned on all season in Bernhardt, who won off the dodge and got all the way to the net to end the game and give the Terps the 10-9 victory.
Maryland will be back at home next weekend to close out the regular season when it hosts Johns Hopkins in one of the oldest rivalries in college lacrosse.
Three things to know
1. Maryland’s stars played like stars when it mattered. Part of what has made Maryland so tough to beat this season is its star power at the attack position. Bernhardt and Wisnauskas have terrorized opposing defenses all year, and both came up huge late in this one to carry Maryland to the victory. If Maryland makes another deep tournament run this season, it’ll undoubtedly be on the backs of the two stars.
2. The Terps are officially going to the Big Ten tournament. Saturday’s win put the Terps at 3-1 in Big Ten play, putting them second in the conference and guaranteeing them a spot in the postseason tournament. They most likely won’t be able to catch Penn State still for the top spot in the conference, but can lock up the second seed with a win over Johns Hopkins next weekend.
3. A fantastic performance from Danny Dolan. Being on the wrong side of the faceoff and ground ball battle, Maryland was forced to rely on its last line of defense, who more than rose to the occasion. Dolan totaled 10 saves on the day, using every part of his body to try and keep the Buckeyes from scoring.