With Albany leading a ferocious fourth-quarter comeback, Maryland needed a goal to regain some momentum. Junior attackman Logan Wisnauskas provided exactly that. He caught a pass from midfielder Anthony Demaio on the right wing and rifled his fifth goal of the game on a low-to-high shot. That goal was his eighth point of the game, tying a career-high. It was also the closing strike that the Terps needed to secure a nervy 14-13 victory.
Defensively, the Terps’ man down unit was excellent, blanking the Great Danes on five separate occasions — including one opportunity where Maryland was two men down. Also, junior faceoff specialist Justin Shockey provided once again, winning 23 of 30 faceoffs, helping the Terps maintain possessions throughout. Maryland’s unselfishness offensively was also key as the Terps tallied 11 assists on 14 goals.
“The biggest thing we wanted to do was play fast, space well and share the ball,” head coach John Tillman said. “I thought those guys did it, a lot of those you can give credit to [Jared Bernhardt] and [Logan Wisnauskas] they’re really smart guys, they’re really opportunistic.”
Wisnauskas and fellow attackman Jared Bernhardt were pivotal to Maryland’s success, combining for 14 points, including the Terps first three goals of the game. Wisnauskas opened the scoring bullying his defender to create separation, firing the shot far post. Over the next two minutes, Bernhardt scored consecutive goals to get the Terps going.
On the second, Bernhardt took it himself, scoring career goal No. 129 to move into sole possession of fifth place all time on Maryland’s scoring list — passing former teammate Connor Kelly.
After Albany answered with a goal from Corey Junker, Maryland countered with back-to-back goals from midfielder Joshua Coffman and Wisnauskas. Both goals were set up by precise feeds from Bernhardt and Kyle Long. To close out the first quarter, Tehoka Nanticoke and Maltz exchanged goals giving the Terps a 6-2 lead.
Similar to the first quarter, Bernhardt and Wisnauskas opened the second frame with a pair of goals to put Maryland on top 8-2 both set up by precise feeds after cutting to an open area.
However, just when it seemed Maryland had all the momentum, the Great Danes executed a four-goal run of their own, cutting the deficit to two. Graydon Hogg keyed Albany’s comeback with three consecutive goals, all in transition or on unsettled opportunities.
Riding hard and beating the Terps to contested ground balls, Hogg positioned himself in advantageous positions to set up easy finishes. Completing the four-goal run, Chase Noah scored with a behind-the-back finish on a feed from Ron John.
Shortly before the end of the first half, Bernhardt helped Maryland seize back momentum with a tough wraparound finish, giving Maryland a 9-6 lead at half where the Terps held a 33-19 shot advantage and a 14-3 faceoff advantage.
“Not just today, but throughout the season so far, [Justin Shockey] has been doing so well,” attackman Jared Bernhardt said. “It gives us confidence to see the ball a lot and I know it helps the defense out.”
The third quarter was more of a defensive showdown, with the Terps outscoring Albany 4-2. Tehoka Nanticoke scored two of his five goals during the quarter, both off unsettled opportunities. Freshman Daniel Maltz also notched two of his three goals during the frame, helping Maryland maintain a 13-8 advantage entering the final quarter.
While Maryland controlled much of the first three quarters, the Great Danes controlled the fourth, outscoring the Terps 5-1. Albany continued to find success off of Maryland’s clearing mistakes with Hogg and Nanticoke taking advantage. Led by Nanticoke, Albany executed a three-goal run cutting the deficit to 13-11 with 5:55 remaining.
Wisnauskas’ goal put the Terps back on top by three, but the Great Danes continued to battle. Jake Piseno and Hogg scored back-to-back goals cutting Maryland’s lead to 14-13 with 2:18 remaining.
After a defensive stop, Albany had the possession once again with an opportunity to tie the game. However, when it needed to, Maryland’s defense came up with a crucial stand. Sophomore Brett Makar delivered a pivotal trail check to Jakob Patterson, preventing him from getting a clean shot off. Makar’s check led to a loose ground ball picked up by freshman goalie Logan McNaney, which secured the Terps fifth win of the season.
While the Terps didn’t close the game in ideal fashion, their ball movement offensively and strong defense on the final possession were pivotal in holding off the Great Danes comeback hopes.
“Lot of teachable moments, a lot of things we can learn and grow from, which we’ll need too,” Tillman said. “I know these guys will.”