No. 3 Maryland men’s lacrosse puts on a second half clinic dispatching No. 20 Johns Hopkins 18-10

(Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics.)

With 10:32 remaining in the third quarter, Jared Bernhardt dodged hard towards the cage and battled around a pair of Johns Hopkins (1-2 B1G) defenders beating goalie Josh Kirson, which gave Maryland (3-0 B1G) an 8-7 lead.

Bernhardt was knocked down in the crease after the goal, as Maryland then surged forward with seven more goals in a dominant eight-goal third quarter. The Terps used that momentum as a springboard in the 18-10 victory, returning the coveted “Rivalry Trophy” to College Park in the 120th all-time meeting. 

“We just kept saying be patient, our time’s coming,” Logan Wisnauskas said. “We were just waiting for that third quarter run and we kind of found that spark.”

Maryland scored 11 unanswered goals over a 22:40 span from the ladder stages of the second quarter into the fourth quarter. Wisnauskas led Maryland’s offensive attack with nine points (2G, 7A) as the seven assists marked a career-high and tied the most by a Terp since Connor Kelly in 2018. 

Jared Bernhardt finished with six points (5G, 1A), while Anthony DeMaio (4G) and Daniel Maltz (3G, 3A) were essential parts of the Terps’ attack and often the beneficiaries of Wisnauskas’ vision.

Justin Shockey also enjoyed his best of the game of the season at the faceoff X winning 17 of 29 faceoffs, bouncing back after he struggled against Penn State in Maryland’s last game. Shockey’s success allowed the Terps to continue earning possessions during their dominant run.

“I loved [Justin Shockey’s] grit today,” head coach John Tillman said. “There were times where he didn’t necessarily win the ball clean. He stayed in the fight, got some tough ground balls. He navigated some pressure, found the right guy and kept it simple.”

The defense also stepped up in the second half, not allowing the Blue Jays any easy opportunities as Nick Grill continued his strong senior season with a career-high four caused turnovers. Logan McNaney also finished with 11 saves, building off the success of his defense. 

Despite the lopsided scoreline, the first half was a back and forth affair with plenty of offensive firepower. After no goals were scored in the opening 6:23, both teams combined for eight goals in the final 8:35 of the opening quarter.

Attackman Joey Epstein led the Blue Jays’ offensive charge at the outset scoring the team’s first two goals, finding time and room, while midfielder Cole Williams finished the team’s third goal using his imposing 6-foot-5 frame to create separation.

Trailing 3-1 after Williams goal, the Terps orchestrated their first response to a two-goal deficit. DeMaio and Roman Puglise scored consecutive goals drawing Maryland even helping to silence the Blue Jays hot start.

“We did not play well early and we got some quick goals that almost made it seem like the game was even,” Tillman said. “I felt like they really outplayed us early in this game.”

Bernhardt energized Maryland’s offense with the first goal of the second quarter. However, trailing for the first time, Johns Hopkins responded with a three-goal run over the ensuing 5:37 to take a 7-5 lead with 3:36 remaining in the first half.

Attackman Connor DeSimone started the run after beating Brett Makar, while midfielder Jacob Angelus and Epstein scored consecutive goals finding creases in Maryland’s defense.

Maryland mounted its response with a pair of goals to tie the score at seven in the final 2:16 of the first half. To start the two-goal spurt, Wisnauskas fired an impressive side-arm shot top shelf past Kirson. DeMaio then completed his first half hat-trick on a feed from Kyle Long.

However, in the second half, the Terps opted for a more patient and methodical offensive approach that allowed them to seize all momentum. Bernhardt and Fairman scored the first two goals of the period, both with excellent individual effort winning their one-on-one matchups.

“After that eighth goal from Jared we were just kind of sharing the ball,” Wisnauskas said. “We were moving off ball, we were kind of making the defense work instead of just having one guy carry the ball around.”

As the third quarter wore on, the Terps off-ball movement continued to thrive as graduate transfer Griffin Brown scored his 100th career and DeMaio, Bernhardt and Maltz each added goals. Wisnauskas was the leading catalyst for that success assisting on four of the team’s final six goals of the third quarter.

With a commanding 15-7 lead entering the fourth quarter, Maryland continued to surge offensively. The Blue Jays scored a trio of goals in the final frame, but Maryland’s impressive third quarter display proved too much to overcome.

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