No. 5 Maryland men’s lacrosse puts on offensive clinic in season-opening win over Michigan

(Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics.)

As the clock was winding down on the man-up opportunity, graduate transfer attackman Griffin Brown fed the ball to fellow attackman Logan Wisnauskas. Wisnauskas quickly dumped the ball off to Daniel Maltz who fired the bounce shot into the far-side bottom of the corner that extended Maryland’s (1-0 B1G) lead to 8-2.

That tic-tac-toe-passing and tremendous unselfishness fueled Maryland’s offense throughout as 11 different players scored and 13 different players registered a point in the Terps commanding 20-9 win over Michigan (0-1 B1G).

“Just a lot of guys doing a lot of things for us, offensively sharing the ball, defensively guys sliding and recovering and fighting in the middle of the field,” head coach John Tillman said.

Maltz led the way with five goals, while Wisnauskas added four points with three goals and an assist. The trio of attackman Jared Bernardt, Anthony DeMaio and midfielder Kyle Long added a combined 12 points on six goals and six assists.

The 20 goals are Maryland’s most in a conference game since joining the Big Ten and most in a conference game in 38 years, according to Maryland Athletics. Maryland’s offense found much of its success attacking down the alley and finding creases in the high-middle area making Michigan pay for lapses in communication defensively. 

The Terps also found success converting on their early offense in transition situations off the Wolverines 19 turnovers— eight of which were caused by Maryland’s persistence on the ride fighting to regain possession.

“At this time of year you’re trying to look for any way you can to get extra possessions and get opportunities back,” Tillman said. “I thought our kids did a great job with that, not only with the attack/middies, but even our defensive guys picked up some tough ground balls in the middle of the field and gave us some chances.”

Long started the offensive onslaught less than a minute into the game dodging down the alley to create space rifling the shot top-shelf past Michigan goalie John Kiracofe. For Michigan, sophomore attackman Josh Zawada answered back quickly with a tying goal. However, that would be the last time the Wolverines tied up the score for the remainder of the action.

Maryland promptly answered with four consecutive goals, taking a 5-1 lead at the conclusion of one quarter. Long tacked on his second goal of the game, while Maltz scored off a feed from Anthony DeMaio shooting with time and room. Wisnauskas closed the run with a pair of goals, one off a fortuitous bounce and another using his strength dipping his shoulder for the in-tight finish.

Zawada scored once again for Michigan, halting the goal-run. However, a flurry of man-up goals surged Maryland’s second-quarter momentum. The Terps scored five consecutive goals in the final 10:32 of the first half to take a commanding 10-2 halftime advantage. 

To start the run, Wisnauskas finished his third goal of the game, while midfielder Jake Higgins tallied his first goal off an impressive inside-roll dodge to create separation.

Then the man-up magic was on full display for Maryland, as Maltz’s three consecutive goals capped off a dominant first-half for the Terps. The common theme of those goals was the sophomore attackman finding a crease in the middle of the Wolverines’ defense.

“I think I just try to play off guys like [Jared Bernhardt], [Logan Wisnauskas], [Anthony DeMaio], they draw so much attention and the slide comes so fast,” Maltz said. “Just kind of follow that slide and luckily I’m wide open thanks to all the work they’re doing.”

Maryland’s defense also did a phenomenal job in the first half surrendering just six shots on goal headlined by junior Brett Makar and senior Nick Grill.

Maryland’s offensive dominance maintained into the second half as Bernhardt opened the third quarter with a pair of goals. The first came off a feed from Anthony DeMaio who drew a double-team, while the second came on a supreme effort from Bernhardt wrapping the side-arm shot around the defender for the finish.

Michigan finally stopped the run in the third quarter with a goal by defender Jack Whitney, but the Wolverines defense couldn’t contain Maryland. The Terps closed the third quarter with three consecutive goals including the first career goal for highly-touted freshman Jack Koras. Entering the final minutes, the Terps had an insurmountable 15-3 lead.

Finally in the fourth quarter, Michigan’s offense was able to gain consistent offensive with six goals highlighted by Zawada and freshman attackman Michael Boehm. Michigan orchestrated four consecutive goals, which cut the deficit to single-digits, but the Terps fired back with goals from three different players. 

Brown, and midfielders Chase Cope and Joshua Coffman found the back of the net, capping off an impressive effort from the Terps on both ends of the field throughout.

“Very happy for our guys, to see them out there again as a team competing for Maryland in their uniforms was awesome to see,” Tillman said.

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