No. 2 Maryland men’s lacrosse throttles High Point, 21-13, in season debut

(Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics.)

It didn’t take long for Maryland to impose its will. Exactly 700 days had passed since Maryland’s last regular season non-conference bout, but there was certainly familiarity in the way the Terps found the back of the net in the opening 43 seconds. 

After winning the opening faceoff and crashing through every phase of the defense, the Terps patiently kneaded between the open spaces of the defense to eventually settle with graduate transfer Jonathan Donville, who was under duress and in the face of a charging High Point close defender. Following a pump-fake, he netted the very first shot of the game and his first shot as a Terp. 

The inter-conference play was new for plenty of the Terps who graced their freezing home turf, but the offensive domination was fairly routine, one of the many holdovers from Maryland’s last season. With their old and new roster pieces, the Terps rolled past High Point, 21-13, and dominated in their first showing in 2022. 

“I’m happy for the guys,” head coach John Tillman said. “[We got] a win against a team that made the playoffs last year and a team that’s knocked off some really good teams and [has] given teams fits … happy for the guys to get the first win under their belt.”

Back again on Capital One Field to commence its 97th season, No. 2 Maryland men’s lacrosse sought to defend its high ranking and showcase its roster full of talent. Maryland’s first relatively normal season opener, in front of fans willing to bear the frigid weather and against a non-conference opponent looking to slay a giant, went as well as they typically do — with resounding, full-frontal success. 

Fittingly, the 2022 season showcase began with a string of scores by Maryland’s newest additions. Donville, a Cornell transfer, found the net first. And after Logan Wisnauskas notched his first of five goals in the afternoon, transfers Keegan Khan (Villanova) and Owen Murphy (Johns Hopkins) peppered the net on subsequent possessions.

Murphy and Khan ended with a combined eight points. Both had hat-tricks. 

“Obviously it’s the first game of the season … I was a little nervous,” Khan said. “But guys on the offensive and defensive side helped me out all year — helped all the transfers out — and were very welcoming of us and made us feel right at home from the start.”

However, in spite of a 6-1 start, made possible by a combination of the success of the teams newest additions and their veterans — Wisnauskas, Daniel Maltz and Bubba Fairman — the Terps showed a bit of early season rust in the second quarter. 

Outscored, 4-3, in the second frame, the Terps’ defense looked more pressured. Junior goaltender Logan McNaney allowed four of seven of the shots he faced, Terps defenders struggled to keep the ball in front of them and the ball was moving for the Panthers. 

“You give up 13 goals, certainly that’s not the standard that we have. At times we were in really good spots,” Tillman said. “We just didn’t cover.”

The lead was maintained, however, and the distance between both sides was significant enough for Maryland to keep its composure and further its offensive barrage. 

“High Point is a really good team, they don’t give up,” Wisnauskas said. “So you’re really just saying at halftime keep the pedal to the metal and just keep going.”

By the time the third quarter was underway, the Panthers lost all of the moxie they boasted in the period prior and Maryland began asserting itself offensively. Wisnauskas neared a double-digit point outing after scoring a quick hat trick and finished with eight points (five goals and three assists), Khan continued to impress on his debut with a behind the back strike off a feed from Wisnauskas to reach his own hat-trick and Maryland resumed its comfortably long trot to the finish line.

“I realized I might be running at an angle so I just shot it behind my back and didn’t really aim it,” Khan said of his run-sparking score. “So I was happy to see it go in.” 

There were new players, under somewhat new circumstances, yet the Terps’ offense remained potent and its attack remained unrelenting. The timely runs were back, as Maryland used a 5-0 run in the third quarter to work to a double-digit lead. There were plenty of scorers, as the Terps used nine different scorers (three of whom had hat-tricks) to reach 21 total points on the afternoon. And, because of it all, the loss column remained empty, extending Maryland’s season debut win streak to 29 games.