Maryland lacrosse outclassed by Hopkins defense, fall 7-5

With its earliest games tracing back to the 1890’s, the Johns Hopkins Maryland lacrosse rivalry celebrated 127 years on Saturday in Baltimore.

The No. 5 Maryland Terrapins (8-3, 3-1 B1G) marched into Homefield Field for their final regular season game against the No. 3 Johns Hopkins Blue Jays (9-3, 4-0 B1G). A win for the Terps meant a share of the Big Ten regular season title and a lock on the No. 1 seed in the postseason tournament. 

But the Blue Jays ensured the title was solely theirs by beating Maryland 7-5 to cap off the 2024 regular season. Both teams now face a bye week, advancing to the Big Ten semifinal round on May 2. 

“[This loss] is just going to keep us really hungry,” senior defenseman Ajax Zappitello said in his post-game presser. “To lose to your biggest rival is obviously really unfortunate but it’s just gonna give us more motivation going into this bye week.”

Johns Hopkins got the early jump on Maryland with three unanswered goals— two from attackman Jacob Angelus and one from attackman Garrett Degnon. Marking his 43rd straight game scoring a goal, Degnon continues to have the longest active streak in the entire country.

Maryland responded with three straight goals of its own. With two minutes left in the opening quarter, Daniel Kelly assisted Jack Koras at the front of the crease and scored his own goal a minute later. Then, two minutes into the second quarter, Kelly made the score 3-3 with a bounce shot.

“We had too many turnovers, unforced turnovers that come back and bite you,” Kelly said. “For us, I think it was hard to get into the flow of the game, especially in the first two quarters, and we gotta find a way to get out of that.”

But demonstrating its relentlessness and hitting back just as hard, Johns Hopkins tacked on three more goals in a two minute span to enter the half ahead at a 6-3 score, with another goal coming from Degnon. The Terps went into the second period with 10 turnovers, five more than their opponent. 

The game remained low scoring through the third quarter with only two Maryland goals from Ryan Siracusa and defensive midfielder George Stamos, and a single goal for Johns Hopkins by midfielder Johnathan Peshko. 

They marked the final goals of the entire game, with neither team able to find the net in the final quarter. Maryland goalie Logan McNaney saved 11 of Hopkins’ 18 shots on goal (61%), and Johns Hopkins goalie Chayse Ierlan saved 11 of Maryland’s 16 shots (68%).

“Hats off to both defenses, I thought both defenses played well,” Maryland head coach John Tillman said post-game. “Give Hopkins credit, to only give up five goals, that’s pretty impressive in the shot clock era. But giving up seven is not bad to a team as good as Hopkins.”

Maryland’s all-time record against Johns Hopkins now shifts to 50-69-1, and Tillman’s shifts to 12-9. 

Now, with a week of rest ahead, the Terps look to play the winner of the quarterfinal matchup between the No. 3 and No. 6 seeds of the Big Ten Tournament.