In the Big Ten Championship, No. 1 Maryland men’s lacrosse has a trusted, valuable leader in Wisnauskas

(Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics.)

The stage is set. No. 1 Maryland men’s lacrosse and Rutgers, the top two seeds of the conference, will face off in the Big Ten Championship. 

Maryland’s last performance against Rutgers leaves much room for optimism. The then-No. 4 Scarlet Knights visited College Park with little to combat the Terps’ firepower. After three quarters, the Terps held a commanding 10-point lead. Rutgers got a few points back, but Maryland coasted its way to a, 17-9, victory.

Besides being a thrashing of one of the country’s top programs, the match against Rutgers was a special one for attacker Logan Wisnauskas, who broke Jared Bernhardt’s record for the most career points, ending the game with 292.

Wisnauskas – donning the esteemed number one jersey – has been Maryland’s trusty leader and big time performer all season, including the semifinals match against Johns Hopkins, in which he led the team in both goals (four) and assists (three).

In his fifth year, now in the postseason, almost no games are guaranteed for Wisnauskas and some of his veteran teammates. His play and his approach demonstrate his understanding of that fact. He’ll do whatever it takes to win.

With each stat-stuffing outing, Wisnauskas leaves behind a legacy with both his skill and his leadership.

“He never brings up how many points – he doesn’t play any different, whether he scores or he doesn’t score,” head coach John Tillman said about Wisnauskas after he broke the record. “He just loves playing. He can play off the ball. He can play with the ball. He’ll set good picks. Because he does all those little things really well and takes pride in it, the other guys are going to emulate your leaders.”

Beyond his undeniable talent, Wisnauskas possessed the attitude that Tillman looks for when looking for someone to embody the spirit of the honored number.

“Number one [jerseys], they’re so much more than just the points,” Tillman said. “It’s the person … They’re unselfish guys. They’re incredibly hard workers. They’re team-first guys. They’re guys I don’t worry about off the field. They represent number one in every aspect.”

Wisnauskas checked every box.

“That’s one thing I’ve always mentioned about Logan. He’s very professional. He lets his play do the talking. He doesn’t self-promote,” Tillman said before turning to Wisnauskas. “Do you have social media?”

Logan shook his head, no.

“Yeah, like how many kids don’t have social media?” Tillman said. 

When asked about what it meant to represent the number, Wisnauskas answered humbly. 

“It’s meant a lot, obviously, but we’ve got an incredible team … it’s been awesome so far,” Wisnauskas said.

In the same press conference, Tillman told a story that summed up the attitude that the captain emulated.

“It was early in the season and it’s Wednesday night … I’m walking out of the stadium and I look up and there’s somebody doing wall ball … I couldn’t see because I’m old. I walked in the locker room, and I go, ‘Who’s doing wall ball up there?’ and they’re like, ‘It’s Logan … It’s Wall Ball Wednesday.’”

The story left a good impression on the coach.

“When a guy who is that good is still working on his fundamentals, and it’s early in the season, the young guys see that,” Tillman said.

At this juncture, as Maryland still stands undefeated and as heavy favorites to take both the Big Ten Championship and the NCAA title, there’s good reason to believe that all of Wisnauskas’ teammates have heeded the sense of urgency and focus of their stoic leader. 

Wisnauskas’ time as a Maryland athlete is waning. But the opportunity to earn himself and his team some coveted hardware is evident. And, as he has done for the majority of his career, he’ll provide the even-keeled example along with the numbers his team needs to win it all.  

“It’s going to be a sad day [when he leaves],” Tillman said. “I joke with him sometimes. I’m like, ‘What am I going to do without you?’”