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No. 4 Maryland men’s lacrosse roars back for 14-13 win over Richmond in 2OT

The Terps trailed 12-7 in the fourth quarter, but made a furious comeback to improve to 2-0 this season.

Maryland men’s lacrosse celebration Lila Bromberg / Testudo Times

After trailing by as many as five goals in the fourth quarter, senior attacker Jared Bernhardt looked poised to continue carrying No. 4 Maryland men’s lacrosse’s offense on his back to stave off a valiant Richmond upset effort.

With 1:41 remaining the game, Bernhardt received the feed from his running mate Logan Wisnauskas, turned to his left and fired it into the bottom left corner, completing a massive comeback effort and drawing them back even just before the end of regulation.

Following a scoreless first overtime period, Maryland had one more opportunity to end it with 2:12 left in second overtime. As Wisnauskas looked to work his away from behind X, he was swarmed by Richmond defenders. But he managed to find a wide open Anthony DeMaio cutting to the net, feeding him right in front of the cage for the score and 14-13 win for the Terps.

After an explosive 23-goal performance in the team’s win over High Point last week, the Terps looked to get their blistering attack going early once again in their first road contest of the new season.

But the Spiders landed the first punch, as junior midfielder Mitch Savoca managed to beat his man off the dodge in each of Richmond’s first two possessions and place it in the back of the net to put them ahead 2-0 early.

Maryland’s attack struggled to get itself out of neutral, unable to get put it past Richmond keeper Jack Rusbuldt despite creating open looks in front of the cage. The Terps racked up 14 shots in the first quarter, with nine being on goal, but it only resulted in one goal from Bernhardt after the first 10 minutes of action.

But they began to show off their quick-strike ability as the first quarter wound down, striking three times in the final 1:22 of the period to draw back even with Richmond 4-4 heading into the second.

Despite the late first-quarter push to tie things back up, though, Maryland’s defense began to show its youth once again as a talented Richmond attack unit continued to expose Terp defenders.

Freshman Richmond attack Richie Connell lit up the Maryland defense to the tune of three first half goals on four shots, including a goal that deflected off of his stick and trickled past Maryland keeper Chris Brandau. The Spider attack outpaced and outplayed the Terps throughout the first half, ultimately outshooting them 21-18 by the end of the first-half horn.

Offensively, the Terp attack regressed back to stagnancy in the second, with the Spider defense refusing to bend to Maryland’s talented crop of attackers. Too often it was forced deep into possessions, using almost all of the shot clock before having to force a shots from long range that Rusbuldt handled without fail.

After one half, the talented duo of Bernhardt and Logan Wisnauskas was largely held in check, combining for just one goal and one assist as the Terps went into the break trailing 8-5.

The Terps began to fall apart in the third quarter, failing to execute offensively at the moments they needed to stay in this one. Richmond, meanwhile, added three goals in the third, stretching its advantage to four goals going into the fourth quarter.

It would have been much more though if it weren’t for the play of Bernhardt and Wisnauskas, who kept Maryland in this contest. With the Terps down 9-5, Logan Wisnauskas finally got on the scoreboard, as the feed from Bernhardt deflected off him and into the back of the net to pare the lead back down to three.

The outstanding attack duo continued to heat up into the fourth quarter, with Wisnauskas tallying a quick goal at the beginning of the period to cut the deficit to four with over 12 minutes still remaining. Maryland went on to rattle off three more goals after that, two of which came courtesy of freshman attack Jack Brennan to whittle Richmond’s lead down to one — though the Spiders brought it back up to a two goal-advantage soon after.

Bernhardt took it upon himself to score the final two goals of the fourth quarter, including the game-tying goal with 1:41 remaining to force this one into overtime.

Both sides trudged into overtime looking for the winner, with the Spiders a goal away from picking up an early signature win and Maryland hoping to maintain its status as a top-five team in the nation.

The first three minutes of the overtime period saw neither team find a winner, but the Terps ended up with the ball with one last chance to end. But as junior midfielder Anthony DeMaio tried to back his defender down from outside the crease, he was dispossessed and time expired, sending this to a second OT period, where he redeemed himself to win it.

Three Things to Know

1. Maryland looked sloppy. Failed clears, near-shot clock violations and missed defensive assignments were the story in this one, as the No. 4 team in the country looked anything like it for most of today’s game. This Terps team clearly has plenty of talent on paper, but the on-field product needs to be much better if this year’s team is going to live up to the hype.

2. Joel Trucksess impressed. The departure of the team’s lead FOGO in Austin Henningsen meant there was likely going to be a competition as for who would take the lion’s share of face-off draws. Today, the junior transfer from Lehigh, Joel Trucksess, looked the most impressive of Maryland’s face-off committee, winning 8-of-19 draws including several important draws down the stretch.

3. The Terps were dominated on ground balls. In often what can be the deciding factor in lacrosse, Maryland failed to control loose balls the middle of the field in this one. Richmond ended the contest with a 40-28 advantage on ground balls, but the Terps still managed to pull this one out.