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No. 7 Maryland men’s lacrosse holds on late, beats Albany 14-13

The Terps never trailed in their tight win over the Great Danes.

Logan Wisnauskas, Maryland men’s lacrosse, Albany, 2020 Sarah Sopher / Testudo Times

Entering the fourth quarter, No. 7 Maryland men’s lacrosse’s once six-goal lead was trimmed down to just one with under 30 seconds remaining in the contest.

After Terp attackman Logan Wisnauskas’ shot went wide, Albany advanced the ball to Maryland’s side of the field and looked poised to strike and tie the game.

The Great Danes passed the ball around the perimeter a few times before firing a pass inside. But the pass was broken up by a stiff Terp defense and Maryland goalie Logan McNaney threw the ball down the field as the clock expired, sealing a 14-13 win for the Terps.

“Getting a win over a program like Albany, you know it’s something that you gotta make sure you appreciate for all the hard work the guys put in all year,” head coach John Tillman said. “With the way we started, and getting off to a good start, not finishing that way is a little disappointing. But give credit to Albany...they played hard.”

For the second-straight game, the Terps got off to a fast start with Wisnauskas rifling in an unassisted goal two-and-a-half minutes into the contest to give the Terps a 1-0 lead, marking his 20th goal of the season.

Then senior Jared Bernhardt kept the scoring going by following his fellow attackman with two goals of his own — one coming for a Wisnauskas assist — in a matter of 1:09.

Wisnauskas and Bernhardt were catalysts during another explosive offensive day for the Terps. The duo had a hat trick a piece midway through the second quarter, but they also showed they are more than scorers. Wisnauskas finished with a career-high eight points, including three assists, while Bernhardt had two assists himself.

“With [Logan] and Jared back there you just have two really smart players, very skilled players,” Tillman said. “He does a good job of taking what the defense gives him and not trying to do too much. Very opportunistic...we’re lucky to have those two guys.”

Nearly six minutes elapsed in the first quarter before Albany scored its first goal of the game, but Maryland midfielder Josh Coffman answered eight seconds later with his first goal of the season to give his team a three-goal lead once again.

Freshman attackman Daniel Maltz capped off the first quarter with a goal at the 1:09 mark, giving Maryland a 6-2 lead and setting a season record for the most goals scored in the first quarter.

At the beginning of the second quarter Maryland received three-straight goals from Bernhardt, Wisnauskas, and Maltz to extend the lead to 8-2. But the Great Danes answered defensively.

Their defense picked up, holding the Terps scoreless for 10 minutes. Simultaneously, their offense started to catch fire. Three consecutive goals from Graydon Hogg, followed by a goal Chase Noah made it just a two-score game with just over two minutes remaining in the first half.

The first few minutes of the second half were critical for the Terps as they had just defused some of Albany’s momentum. And as the Great Danes started to key in on Wisnauskas and Bernhardt, the Terps secondary scorers stepped up. Two goals from Maltz and one from junior Anthony DeMaio helped the Terps lead balloon up to five goals.

The Terps also received plenty of help from their defense in the third quarter, limiting Albany to just two goals. Freshman Logan McNaney made his second career start and had another solid outing. He saved 11 shots against the potent Great Danes offense that came in averaging just under 13 goals per game.

Despite a lackluster third quarter, the Great Danes rallied back in the final stanza. The offense woke up, in large part thanks to attackman Tehoka Nanticoke who scored a pair of fourth quarter goals.

“He’s a great player. Obviously we put a lot of emphasis on him during the week,” sophomore defenseman Brett Makar said. “He definitely uses his size and he's a big guy. (He) had a great game today.”

Albany’s defense picked up as the Terps turned the ball over six times. Maryland did not score from the 2:46 mark of the third until Wisnauskas fired in a shot with 5:08 remaining. It was also the only quarter Albany would win the ground ball battle, playing with way more urgency than the home team.

“They tried to slow us down. We prepared for it, but at times we weren’t moving the ball,” Bernhardt said. “We were getting a little stagnant.”

But the game-tying goal evaded the Great Danes as it was Maryland’s defense who made the final stop, pushing the Terps to 5-1 on the season.

Three things to know

1. Jared Bernhardt moves into fifth all-time on the Maryland career goals list. Entering Saturday’s contest Jared Bernhardt was one goal short of being in the top five on the Maryland all-time goals list. Bernhardt had 127 career goals, came in to the game sixth all-time tied with Frank Urso.

But Bernhardt quickly found the back of the night, four minutes into the contest to move him up to fifth and tie Connor Kelly. Less than two minutes later, Bernhardt scored again and was in sole possession of fifth place.

After his four goal outing on Saturday, Bernhardt is now only 24 goals short of first place on the all-time goals list. Matt Rambo has the record with 155, but with at least seven games remaining that is more than attainable for Bernhardt. Bernhardt did not know how close he was to fifth before the game

“I kinda don't really pay attention to that kind of stuff. Just worried about wins and losses,” Bernhardt said. “Enjoying my time here with these guys because it goes by fast and it’s unfortunately gonna come to an end so I'm trying just to enjoy my time playing lacrosse.”

2. Justin Shockey shines again. A week after Shockey had his best outing of the season in a win over Notre Dame, the junior faceoff specialist followed that up with another terrific performance against Albany.

Head coach John Tillman has spent the last two games selecting one faceoff specialist to start and riding with him and on Saturday, Shockey made Tillman look wise. Shockey went 23-7 at the faceoff X, constantly giving Maryland’s offense the opportunity to score.

“Throughout the season he's been playing so well. It gives us confidence to see the ball a lot and it’ll help the defense out to get rest,” Bernhardt said of Shockey. “He’s been doing a great job. Not only in the games but in practice as well.”

3. Terps controlled the groundball battle. Maryland’s defense has been up-and-down this season, but on Saturday they showed clear improvement in the ground ball department. The Terps were more the aggressive team on the ground, winning 34 ground balls compared to Albany’s 27.

Junior midfielder Roman Puglise led the charge scooping five, his second highest total of the season. Goalie Logan McNaney scooped three as did midfielder Joshua Coffman.

Doing the little things like scooping ground balls and winning faceoffs put the Terps in position to win the game despite long offensive droughts. Those are characteristics of a winning program that will help them in the long run.