Logan Wisnauskas leads Maryland lacrosse past Notre Dame, 14-9

Tied at seven with 10:29 remaining in the third quarter and all the momentum seemingly with Notre Dame, Maryland lacrosse midfielder Roman Puglise hounded Charles Leonard on the ride. Puglise forced an errant pass, one of Notre Dame’s 16 turnovers and five unsuccessful clears.

Leonard’s pass went right into the stick of attackman Jared Bernhardt who immediately charged the net and found fellow attackman Daniel Maltz on the doorstep for the easy finish. 

“That goal at 8-7 was huge, [Daniel Maltz] from [Jared Bernhardt] off a broken play that was a huge play,” head coach John Tillman said.

That goal gave Maryland (4-1) the lead for the remainder of the game, in an impressive 14-9 victory over Notre Dame. The win marked freshman goalie Logan McNaney’s first victory, a game in which the Terps won in a lot of the key areas. The Terps were perfect in the clearing game, held a 38-23 groundball advantage and Justin Shockey won 18 of 26 faceoffs.

Facing off against a stout Fighting Irish defense, coming out fast after a near two-week layover was a point of emphasis. The Terps did just that. Bernhardt scored consecutive goals in the opening five minutes, displaying both quickness and lacrosse IQ.

The first goal, Bernhardt took advantage of a short-stick on short-stick matchup. The second, Bernhardt displayed precise footwork with a spin inside and a high shot to beat goalie Liam Entenmann.

“Coach Tillman was emphasizing the first five minutes and understanding if we win those it will give us a good start,” defender Nick Grill said. 

However, as the first quarter progressed, the Fighting Irish found a little rhythm on offense, with Griffin Westlin serving as the catalyst. Westlin set up Quinn McCahon for the opening goal and then found the back of the net to tie the score at two. 

After a couple sloppy minutes of play, Logan Wisnauskas scored the first of his five goals on the day on a precise cross field feed from midfielder Russell Masci. At the end of a sloppy first quarter with a combined 11 turnovers, the Terps led 3-2 — while holding a 17-5 shot advantage.

The second quarter was a back and forth affair, with the teams exchanging the first four goals. Tommy McNamara and Brian Willetts scored back-to-back goals, giving Notre Dame their only lead of the game 4-3. 

However, it didn’t take Maryland long to respond, with attackman Jack Brennan and Masci scoring consecutive goals, both beneficiaries off set-up plays from freshman Daniel Maltz. He displayed exquisite vision finding his open teammates, with a career-high three assist performance. 

After Notre Dame knotted the score at five, midfielder Kyle Long and Wisnauskas scored a pair of goals in the final two minutes to take a 7-5 lead into half. By halftime, Shockey had won 10 of 14 faceoffs and the Terps built a 36-14 shot advantage.

Although it seemed Maryland had all of the momentum, Notre Dame began the second half with a pair of goals in the opening five minutes. Bryan Costabile and Mikey Drake tied it up for the Fighting Irish, but once again Maryland responded right back with a three goal run of their own. 

Maltz’s transition goal started the run and then Wisnauskas and Long added goals as well. Maryland’s best offensive possession of the game resulted in Wisnauskas’ goal. After a shot from midfielder Bubba Fairman ricocheted off the post, Joshua Coffman grabbed the rebound feeding Maltz who then fed Wisnauskas for the goal.

Costabile scored his second goal of the game 38 seconds into the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 10-8, but Maryland controlled the quarter the rest of the way. Continuing to make the Fighting Irish pay, Wisnauskas scored his fourth and fifth goals of the game. On the first goal, Wisnauskas caught a pass from Bernhardt after cutting to an open area and took several steps to create a better shot angle. On the second, Wisnauskas used his strength and body positioning to loft a bounce shot past Entenmann, giving Maryland a 12-8 lead with 10:37 remaining.

For the final 10 and half minutes, Maryland’s defense remained physical and fundamentally sound, giving the Fighting Irish minimal shooting opportunities. Led by Grill, the Terps held an opponent below ten goals for the first time this season doing a great job in front of their young goaltender.

Despite coming off a 10 day layover, the Terps were the more physical and fundamentally sound team against the Fighting Irish, which played a key part in the victory. With the win, the Terps have defeated another ranked opponent and host Albany at Maryland Stadium next Saturday.

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