By: Cody Wilcox
Jared Bernhardt had only one goal in four quarters of play. The junior attackman had been shadowed by Ohio State’s best defender in Matt Borges and was having a tough time putting anything on the board for the Terps.
But in overtime, after the Terps won the initial faceoff, Bernhardt was the player that Maryland went to at the top of the key. Drawing the defense up with him, Bernhardt ran down the left side of the field, worked to the middle and shot while diving across the crease to give No. 2 Maryland the 10-9 overtime road win against No. 9 Ohio State, and his 100th career-goal.
Bernhardt had struggled early in the game. Prior to his goal in the fourth quarter, Maryland’s top attackman had attempted four shots, some of which appeared to be forced against a Buckeye defense that blanketed him.
With today’s win, Maryland (11-2, 3-1) clinched a berth in the Big Ten tournament. Meanwhile, Ohio State (8-3, 3-3) currently stands as one of the two teams left out of the tournament. The win also marks the eighth-consecutive game between the two teams in which the game has been decided by three goals or fewer.
Maryland is now 2-1 in overtime games this season with their only loss coming to Notre Dame.
With Bernhardt’s early efforts not seeing much success and Ohio State’s faceoff specialist Justin Inacio dominating the X, other Terps were called on to rise to the occasion in the top-10 matchup on the road.
Two midfielders that stepped up for the Terps were sophomore Roman Puglise and Christian Zawadzki, who netted their fifth and sixth goals on the season, respectively. Junior midfielder Russell Masci, who worked with Zawadzki on the second line midfield, also stepped up and notched one goal and one assist on the day.
After matching their season-low of two goals going into halftime, and trailing by four, Ohio State put together seven goals in the second half. Inacio, who finished with 15-of-23 from the faceoff X, was getting the Buckeyes possessions that Maryland was unable to find an answer for.
The Buckeyes were led by attackmen Tre LeClaire and Jackson Reid, who both had two goals in the outing. Freshman attackman and Bethesda, Maryland, native Jack Myers also gave Ohio State a boost with one goal and three assists.
Entering Saturday’s contest, the Terps understood that they needed to jump out to an early lead and maintain that the remainder of the game. Ohio State was coming off of a come-from-behind win against Johns Hopkins in which they scored 11 second half goals.
With senior faceoff specialist Austin Henningsen not seeing much success against Inacio, going 6-of-17 on the day, the Terps went to sophomore Justin Shockey as a change of pace against the Buckeyes. Despite going 2-5 against Inacio, Shockey was able to secure the first possession of overtime for Maryland, forcing a faceoff violation.
In 2017, the two teams met in similar fashion in Columbus, Ohio, when Maryland was ranked as the No. 2 team in the country, and Ohio State was ranked as the No. 8 team. The Buckeyes won that match up 11-10 in overtime. But this year, it was the Terps that walked away with the win due to the late-game heroics of Bernhardt.