HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. — Maryland men’s lacrosse saw its season end in heartbreak on Saturday afternoon, collapsing down the stretch to fall to No. 3-seed Virginia 13-12 in overtime in the NCAA quarterfinals.
Maryland controlled the first half, but Virginia kept it close and trailed by just one at halftime and tied it twice in the third quarter. The Terps responded, scoring five straight goals to open up a commanding lead. Then Virginia stormed back to level the score with 1:14 remaining, the tying goal a controversial shot off the crossbar. The Cavaliers dominated faceoffs down the stretch, won the draw in overtime and quickly scored the winner.
Jared Bernhardt and Anthony DeMaio notched four goals apiece for Maryland, while Logan Wisnauskas added two scores. Bernhardt reached 50 goals for the season with a first-half hat trick and finished at 51, one shy of the program’s single-season record. Virginia’s Ryan Conrad scored three of his four goals in the fourth quarter, and it was Matt Moore whose 40th goal of the year walked it off.
The play at the faceoff dot was much of the same as last weekend, with Maryland’s FOGO squad winning just 9 of 28 draws after going 9-of-31 last weekend. Virginia finished with a 43-27 lead in shots as a result, and Maryland’s 30-28 advantage in ground balls wasn’t enough.
Bernhardt was able to make his mark on this game a lot sooner than he did last weekend, opening up the scoring for either side with a pretty sidearm rip to put Maryland up one. Virginia’s offense struggled to maintain possession through the first part of the quarter, allowing Maryland to jump out to an early 2-0 lead. The Cavaliers were able to get two back thanks to dynamic sophomore attack Matt Moore and Ian Laviano, but a goal from Wisnauskas had Maryland ahead 3-2 after 15 minutes.
Virginia was setting the tone physically physically for much of the first half, deploying an aggressive 10-man ride that forced the Terps into a couple of debilitating turnovers. Virginia’s man-on-man defense on the other end offered few opportunities to get a decent shot on goal, although Bernhardt and DeMaio each were able to win off the dodge and convert to put Maryland ahead. But Virginia was rewarded again and again for its aggressive play on the forecheck, lowering the shoulder on several occasions to stunt the Terps’ momentum.
But a first-half hat trick from Bernhardt had the Terps ahead by one at intermission, leading 6-5.
It was a back-and-forth affair early in the third quarter, as both teams traded goals with neither pulling away. Wisnauskas buried another goal to put Maryland up one, but Virginia’s All-American midfielder Dox Aitken would respond with a goal just minutes later to move both teams even. But the Terps were eventually able to separate themselves at the tail end of the quarter, with goals from DeMaio, Bernhardt and Dubick making it 10-7, the largest lead by either team all game. Danny Dolan and Maryland’s defense was sturdy as well, as the senior goalie made five saves in the period to holding the Cavaliers to just two goals.
Maryland came out in the fourth looking to shut the door on this one, with Christian Zawadzki and DeMaio each scoring to stretch the advantage to five. Virginia eventually turned up the intensity defensively, forcing Maryland to use the entirety of the shot clock on each of its last few possessions, a concession the Terps were willing to accept to try and work the clock down. But empty possessions by Maryland put the onus on the defense to stop a Virginia offense desperately trying to stave off elimination, eventually conceding three goals to trim the deficit to two with a little over three minutes left.
Virginia FOGO Petey LaSalla kept winning face off after face off to help fuel the run, culminating in a controversial game-tying goal by attack Michael Kraus with 1:14 remaining. Replay showed Kraus’ shot hit the crossbar and not the net, but college lacrosse doesn’t have reviews. Virginia held the ball with a minute left and a chance to win it in regulation, but Maryland’s defense was able to hold on to push it to overtime.
LaSalla won the opening draw of overtime to give Virginia the first possession, and it took less than 45 seconds for Moore to deliver the goal that ended the Terps’ season.
Three things to know
1. Maryland didn’t possess the ball for the final 4:38 of the game. Although the Terps had their chances at the faceoff dot, Maryland’s collapse in the final minutes of the game was out of t oheffense’s hands. LaSalla won the final seven faceoffs of the game, erasing a five-goal deficit without the ball ever crossing midfield.
2. The Terps fall short of Final Four weekend for the first time since 2013. Maryland has been one of the few constants at championship weekend over the years, participating in either the semifinal or championship game in each of the last six seasons. Now, the Terps are finished before Memorial Day weekend, with their road toward making it back beginning now.
3. It’s the end of the road for the senior class. Curtis Corley has been a force defensively for Maryland in each of his four years on campus, and he took the reigns of the close defense in his final season and will likely be in All-American consideration once postseason awards are announced. Maryland will also lose several other seniors, including goalie Danny Dolan and attacker Louis Dubick, but returns a strong core in 2020.