Freshman Bubba Fairman leads Maryland to fifth consecutive championship weekend

With Sunday’s victory over Cornell 13-8, the Maryland men’s lacrosse senior class set a record for most career wins (62) and the Terps advanced to their fifth consecutive championship weekend. However the seniors were not the story today, as the Terps were led by their talented trio of underclassmen: freshman Bubba Fairman, sophomore Jared Bernhardt and redshirt freshman Logan Wisnauskas. The trio combined for 13 points; Fairman’s five points were a season- and career-high.

In addition to this talented trio, the Terps defense did an outstanding job limiting Cornell’s best offensive weapon sophomore attackman Jeff Teat to one point. Teat came into the game with 97 points, including 60 assists and is widely considered one of the best passers in college lacrosse. Cornell’s offense is much more dynamic when Teat is at his best facilitating to his teammates in open space.

The duo of freshman Justin Shockey and junior Austin Henningsen, combined to win 15 of 24 faceoffs getting the Terps some key possessions. A 5-0 third quarter run propelled the Terps to victory after only by two goals at the half.

After two goals last week against Robert Morris, Bernhardt continued his momentum opening up the scoring for the Terps on a lefty jumpshot using a speed dodge to get around his defender. Playing team fundamentally sound defense the Terps were able to kill both extra man opportunities and led 1-0 after one quarter.

The second quarter was much different fast paced with a combined nine goals scored by both teams. Less than five minutes into the second quarter the Terps scored two goals extending their lead to three. First, Wisnauskas scored with a side arm shot dodging around his defender and then Fairman drew a double team feeding Bernhardt who used the stick fake to beat senior goalie Christian Knight.

Cornell scored their first goal of the day shortly after, junior midfielder Thomas O’Connell was leveled and then Teat picked up the ground ball feeding junior attackmen Clarke Petterson for the goal right in front. The Terps next goal came from an unlikely source. Senior defender Michael Adler scored his first goal of the season on a bounce shot after Shockey won the clamp setting up a fastbreak.

Similar to much of the second quarter Cornell bounced right back soon after. Sophomore midfielder Cooper Telesco rifled a shot past senior goalie Dan Morris off the feed from freshman midfielder Matt Licciardi. After a few minutes of scoreless action, the Terps scored once again Bernhardt drew a double team and fed wide open freshman midfielder Anthony Demaio who buried the close shot.

Star senior midfielder Connor Kelly scored his only goal of the day on a time and room shot from the outside on the feed from senior midfielder Tim Rotanz at x extending the lead to 6-2.

Cornell scored two more goals before the half first half ended, both involving senior midfielder Jordan Dowiak who had an outstanding day with five points. First, Dowiak fired a bounce shot past Morris and then minutes later fed Petterson on the crease with a diving backhand pass right to his stick for the easy finish cutting the lead to 6-4.

Fairman began his outstanding third quarter with an assist to Wisnauskas after drawing the double team for his second assist of the game. On the extra man opportunity, Fairman began his third quarter hat trick firing an absolute rocket from the outside on the feed from Wisnauskas. Showcasing his great vision, Wisnauskas grabbed his third assist of the game drawing the double team once again and feeding senior attackmen Colin Giblin on a great cut up the seam.

The outstanding freshman was not done however, his next goal came once again on a time and room shot from up beating Knight low on the feed from Rotanz. To cap off his outstanding third quarter, he did it by himself using his great combo of speed and strength beating Knight on a bounce shot. After three quarters the Terps led 11-4 due in large part to the play of Fairman.

Senior midfielder Adam DiMillo added his name to the scoresheet feeding Demaio who fired an absolute scorcher over the right shoulder of Knight, after drawing a double team. Cornell would not give up putting up a 4-0 run of their own led by the talented duo of Kowiak and sophomore midfielder Connor Fletcher.

Dowiak scored his first goal of the fourth quarter dodging around freshman midfielder Roman Pugliese and came right back firing a rocket past Morris on the feed from Fletcher. A carbon copy of the previous goal he scored once again with time and room on the feed from Fletcher. After assisting Dowiak numerous times Fletcher took it to the cage himself firing a beautiful lefty shot to the far post beating Dan Morris past his right hip.

Bernhardt scored the final goal for the Terps after Cornell’s unsuccessful ten man ride and with the win the Terps will take on the No. 4 Duke Blue Devils setting up a battle between two Tewaaraton finalists Connor Kelly and Justin Guterding.

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