Things got terribly ugly incredibly quickly for Johns Hopkins.
The conditions were ideal for the Blue Jays. Balmy April weather encouraged a strong supporting fan turnout at Homewood Field and the Blue Jays have been strong at home (5-1 at Homewood before Saturday) — but No. 1 Maryland men’s lacrosse was in its element.
Goals came in bunches and the offense shared the ball. Nothing was new in the way Maryland dominated, only the opponent and the stakes. Eventually, before hoisting up the Crab Trophy, Maryland handed Johns Hopkins its worst loss in program history, 22-7.
“I mean, obviously, we didn’t expect that,” head coach John Tillman said. “Once we got going I think they got more confident.”
The Crab Trophy was practically already in the Terps possession by the end of the first quarter. Two minutes remained in the first frame and Maryland led by five points with six different goal scorers who found the back of the net with relative ease.
FOGO Luke Wierman dominated at the dot and the defense turned the Blue Jays experienced attack into fodder.
The 6-1 lead at the end of the first was a typical showing for the Terps, but the second quarter and beyond pointed toward an abnormally high level of play.
As Maryland worked its way to double figures on the scoreboard, it managed to notch three goals in just 10 seconds of game time in the second quarter.
Attacker Logan Wisnauskas was responsible for the first two, cleaning up a broken play then calling his own number after Wierman won at the X. With two goals in six seconds, the scores warranted Hopkins a timeout intended to quell the tide, but the Terps came out of the break unfazed and added another, improving their lead to 11-3 in four seconds.
Wierman scooped the faceoff and trotted down the alley and finished with his left.
“Luke’s done such a good job like every week he’s practicing different plays,” Tillman said. “We’re working on technique with the faceoff squad, he is always working on those lefty [shots] and is able to hit one there.”
The game promptly became Maryland’s to lose.
But a strangely athletic fadeaway shot and score by Wisnauskas and 10 unanswered goals in the third quarter demonstrated Maryland had no interest in losing. The third frame included more scoring, more defense and, eventually, a record book permanently altered.
A typical Maryland beatdown turned into the worst loss in ‘The Rivalry’s history and then, the worst loss in the Blue Jay’s program history as Maryland, at one point, led by 16 scores.
For a majority of the fourth, the starters and the first midfield had an opportunity to rest and admire their work. Goaltender Logan McNaney sat after saving 11 shots and allowing just four goals in three quarters. Defenseman Ajax Zappitello and the rest of the close defense lounged after silencing the Blue Jays for long stretches, most impressively, for the entire third quarter.
“We had a really good week of prep,” McNaney said of his defense. “We knew we had to start strong and keep the same pace throughout.”
Wisnauskas, too, got to observe from the sidelines after performing what could be his magnum opus of the regular season, recording his second highest shooting percentage (87%) and finishing with a game-high five goals — all while becoming the 19th player in NCAA history and the only Terp in Maryland history to eclipse 300 career points.
All of them were in their element — and it paid off.
“Our leadership is so amazing,” Eric Malever said. “We prepare so hard all week and, you know, we win games but it’s the next game — always.”