No. 7 Maryland escapes winless Brown after Maltz’s overtime winner

For the first time since 1978, the Brown Bears (0-4, 0-0 Ivy League) returned to College Park for a match against the No. 7 Maryland Terrapins (4-1, 0-0 Big Ten).

The Terps returned home from a discouraging 9-14 road loss in Indiana handed by No. 6 Notre Dame— their first loss of the season. Brown on the other hand began the season with four straight losses to Quinnipiac, Boston University, Providence and Georgetown.

Maryland added another notch to its perfect 16-0 record against Brown (now 14-0 in College Park), defeating the Bears 14-13 in wet conditions.

Maryland was missing its starting faceoff specialist Luke Wierman, who was sidelined in full pads and did not appear on the team’s injury report prior to the game. In his absence, Brown made a 2-0 start with goals from Wells Bligh and Marcus Wertheim. Maryland responded with two straight goals of its own, but Brown demonstrated its relentlessness by tacking on another pair.

“I felt like not playing him today was the best thing for Luke, so that’s what we did,” Maryland head coach John Tillman said in his post-game presser. “We’ll reevaluate on Monday and see where he’s at. I trust the doctors and trainers and what they tell us.”

Maryland midfielder Daniel Maltz strung together two goals of his own before time expired, and the result was a 4-4 tie heading into the second period. 

With Wierman still on the bench at the start of the next quarter, Shea Keethler continued handling the role at faceoff. Brown took advantage of the matchup with three goals in the first three minutes— two of which came from Matteo Corsi.  

“Certainly proud of the way Shea Keethler battled,” Tillman said. “Our wings hustled and fought and scrapped and found a way to win. I’m proud of the guys for sure.”

After seven goalless minutes, Maryland’s Maltz and Brown’s Corsi each earned themselves a hat-trick as the Terps ebbed between a two and three point deficit. Maryland trailed 6-8 at the half, unable to find its first lead of the game in the first 30 minutes of play.

Without Wierman, Maryland found itself trailing Brown in faceoffs at the break, 7-9. The Bears were also out-shooting the Terps at half, managing to get eight of their 13 shots on goal past Maryland goalie Logan McNaney— a 62% success rate above Maryland’s 50%.

As the rain picked up in the third quarter, the goal production slowed down for both teams. Two goals from Braden Erksa combined with another goal from Ryan Siracusa to leave Maryland trailing 9-10 heading into the final quarter. 

“I’ve worked hard and gone against guys like Ajax [Zappitello] and Brett [Makar] throughout my career and that really prepared me for the big moments,” Siracusa said post-game. “Practice is just as competitive, if not more competitive, than games, so that really prepares us.”

Winding up a shot 10 yards out from the crease, Siracusa went on to tie the game for Maryland with 12 minutes left on the clock— the first tie since the start of the second quarter. An overhand shot from Erksa two minutes later awarded Maryland its first lead of the game and Erksa his third hat-trick of the season, and his fourth goal came two minutes after to extend Maryland’s lead to two. 

With just under three minutes, a goal from Brown’s Ben Locke made the score 12-12. Erksa put Maryland up by one once again (finishing as Maryland’s point-leader with five), but Jack Kelly responded with 45 seconds left on the clock to send the game into overtime. 

Catching a shot from Erksa just five yards above the crease, Dylan Maltz dumped a shot past the head of Brown goalie Connor Theriault to give Maryland the OT win. It only took 42 seconds from the opening faceoff.

“Every player has a role, and [Erksa] has a big one,” Maryland midfielder Jack Koras said post-game. “But just getting everyone involved, that’s the big key we need. It’s not just one individual person.”

The Terps move on to host Virginia next Saturday in College Park.