Maryland gets revenge vs. Virginia, headed back to 17th championship game

Maryland men’s lacrosse is headed back to Championship Monday for the 17th time in program history and the eighth time in 13 tournaments after defeating Virginia, 12-6, at Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday.

Eric Spanos and Daniel Kelly led the way as Spanos tallied two goals and three assists, while Kelly recorded his second hat trick of the season by halftime. In the end, eleven different Terps recorded at least one point in the win.

After Connor Shellenberger scored his first and only goal of the game, Daniel Maltz tied it up minutes later before a late run gave Maryland its first early lead. Daniel Kelly scored a pair of goals just 74 seconds apart before Luke Wierman found the back of the goal with just under three minutes remaining.

After Colin Burlace scored his second of the season to give Maryland a four-goal cushion heading into halftime, Maryland stretched that lead to six after Jack Koras and Eric Spanos both scored in the opening minute. Maryland led by as many as seven as head coach John Tillman guided his team to postseason revenge.

The key to the Terps’ success on the offensive side of the field in this game was getting easy shots on the cage. Most of Maryland’s goals either came off of fast breaks and unsettled situations. After a lackluster offensive showing to end the regular season, Maryland looked like the ’22 offense in this game with how well they moved the ball and got open looks.

Virginia’s six goals marked the fewest goal total since their head coach Lars Tiffany took over the program, while Luke Wierman loomed large once again. Wierman won 15-of-22 faceoffs and scooped up ten groundballs, along with his first-quarter goal.

Defensively, Maryland did what everyone has tried to do all season with Virginia and it worked. Ajax Zappitello shut down Shellenberger and the Terps made Virginia beat the Terps with anyone else. Zappitello held Shellenberger to just a goal and an assist on the day. However, the Terps defense as a whole played lights out all day. Virginia was only able to get nine shots on goal through the first three quarters. It was not until Virginia had to be desperate that they started to shoot more no matter how bad of a shot it was.

Maryland will now face top-seed Notre Dame at 1 PM on ESPN on Monday as head coach John Tillman looks to win his 30th NCAA tournament game and guide the program to their fifth all-time title and third in the last seven tournaments.

Related Links

Four-star Micah Matthews talks Maryland interest, official visits, timeline
Maryland pledge, target draw invites to U.S. Army Bowl
John Tillman on prepping for Virginia, special Final Four run
Pair of Maryland football ’24 signees arriving in College Park
Virginia duo schedule official visits to Maryland