Spearheaded by Daniel Maltz, No. 4 Maryland lacrosse comes back to defeat No. 6 Penn

With Maryland lacrosse leading 16-15 with 6:23 remaining, attackman Daniel Maltz displayed veteran anticipation cutting to the far side post. Receiving a precise feed from sophomore midfielder Jake Smith, Maltz buried the in-tight shot for his fifth and final goal. Maltz’s goal capped off an impressive 8-0 run for Maryland over the final 22:58, in an electric 17-15 comeback win.

During the run, Maryland was much more efficient offensively. Increased off-ball movement and taking advantage of short stick on short stick matchups was a key catalyst for the Terps ferocious second-half comeback.

“I felt like we were more opportunistic and I thought we were a little more patient,” head coach John Tillman said. “As the game went on we were a little bit more patient and had more poise offensively.”

While Maltz and the Terps offense were excellent for a majority of the second half, so too was junior FOGO Justin Shockey. Shockey battled Kyle Gallagher all-game long, and won five of seven faceoffs in the fourth quarter, allowing the Terps to maintain possession and trim the lead.

“Justin Shockey [was] statistically maybe not great, but I thought [it was] his most impactful game he’s played here,” Tillman said.

Dictating possession in the second half, the Terps’ defense stepped up when it needed to, led by sophomore goalie Chris Brandau. Brandau mounted 13 of his career-high 19 saves in the second half, consistently squaring himself to the shooters.

In contrast to their second half struggles, Penn exploded for 12 first half goals with Sam Handley, Sean Lulley and Dylan Gergar each completing a first half hat-trick. The Quakers combination of efficient outside shooting and speedy ball movement allowed them the opportunity for several time-and-room shots. 

Handley, standing at an imposing 6-foot-5 gave Maryland’s defense issues, displaying his ability as a physical dodger and a lethal outside shooter. Winning their individual matchups, the Quakers did a phenomenal job of drawing a slide and then cutting behind it to the open area. At the end of one quarter, the Quakers mounted an impressive 8-5 lead, despite a strong offensive showing from the Terps.

The second quarter was a back and forth affair with both teams exchanging four goals. During that second quarter, sophomore midfielder Kyle Long scored his first goal of the season, after batting a lower-leg injury to start the season. Despite several defensive breakdowns, Maryland’s high-octane offense kept them in the game trailing 12-9 at half.

Trailing 14-9 with 9:56 remaining in the third quarter, Maryland was two men down after slashing penalties were called on midfielder Roman Puglise and attackman Daniel Maltz. Maryland successfully killed the man-down opportunity, giving them such much needed life.

“I thought a key sequence there, we go two men down we kill it and I think that gave us a bit of a lift,” Tillman said.

For the second consecutive week, Maryland needed a four-goal fourth quarter comeback to stay undefeated. Trailing 15-11 at the start of the fourth, Maltz and midfielder Anthony DeMaio were the leading catalysts in the comeback. Both players combined to score four consecutive goals and tie the score at 15. 

Maltz scored twice on EMO opportunities, displaying impeccable footwork with in-tight feeds from DeMaio and attackman Logan Wisnauskas. While Maltz scored from in tight, DeMaio displayed his ability as an outside shooting threat rifling time-and-room shots past sophomore Patrick Burkinshaw.

“Having those guys draw so much attention with [Jared Bernhardt] on top, [Logan Wisnauskas] on the wing and [Anthony DeMaio] on the wing, I just kind of found the soft spot,” Maltz said.

Tied and searching for the go-ahead goal, Maryland once again took advantage of a mismatch. This time, freshman attackman Jack Brennan executed a rollback dodge to perfection firing a righty shot nearside post past Patrick Burkinshaw to give Maryland their first lead since the first quarter 16-15. Maltz’s fifth goal 52 seconds later put the finishing touches on a remarkable run for the Terps.

For the second consecutive week, Maryland displayed their resilience and played their best when it mattered most. Through three games, the Terps have now outscored their opponents 30-13 in the second half this season. 

Maryland doesn’t have much time to rest and adjust, traveling to take on another explosive offense, Villanova on Tuesday.