Maryland men’s lacrosse bounced by Army in first round of 2023 NCAA Tournament

In an expected defensive battle, Saturday evening proved anything but that as the two teams combined for 31 goals. But this time, it was Maryland on the losing end as they fell 16-15 as the Terps suffered their first first-round exit since 2013 and relinquished their chance to defend their title.

Army took control early with a 3-0 lead before Luke Wierman won his first face-off of the day and took it right to the goal, getting on the board. Army took back control and opened up a 7-2 lead through the first quarter as the Black Knights offense was humming and attacking the middle of the Terps defense and it was working.

Maryland would bounce back in the second quarter to make it a game again, going on a five-goal run to tie it back up at seven thanks to two goals from Braden Erksa along with goals from Ryan Siracusa, Daniel Maltz, and Eric Spanos.

Army would wind up taking the lead back, but they would not keep it for long when Zach Whittier would tie it back up for the Terps just 40 seconds later. The score would stay the same heading into halftime at 8-8, which felt like a miracle for the Terps. Both offenses were getting good looks and putting them into the back of the net, while Wierman was above 50% from the face-off in the first half after losing the first three.

But it was Army who took back control to open the second half as they opened the scoring before Spanos quickly tied it back up. Leading 12-11 heading into the fourth thanks to Erksa’s hat trick, the intensity picked up as Army score two goals before Daniel Kelly would score his first of the day to tie it right back up at 13.

Maryland was able to counter Army’s brief lead yet again, but Army would score their fourth goal of the quarter to make it 15-14 with just over three and a half minutes left as desperation time began to kick in.

With just a minute and 15 seconds left on the clock, Army would have the ball and shoot wide left of the net. However, the Terps goalie Brian Ruppel’s stick grazed the ball giving Army a shot clock reset and a chance to kill most of the remaining time left. This caused the Terps to start doubling the ball and leave an open net and Army would capitalize and extend the lead to two with just 53 seconds left. Wierman would win the ensuing face-off and head coach John Tillman would call a timeout to set up a play to cut the lead back to one. With just 36 seconds left, Kelly would put his shot in the back of the net making it 16-15. Wierman would once again win the ensuing face-off but this time he took it to goal and almost tied it up. Luckily the shot went out of bounds and the Terps kept the ball. With just under 30 second left, the Terps would get two more shots on goal but after the second one was saved by the Army goalie it went towards the sideline and an Army defender picked it up and threw it down the field to run the clock out and seal the victory for the Black Knights.

Army’s goalie finished the night with 16 saves with most coming in the second half. Ruppel however only finished with five, making it a night where he struggled mightily all game to see the ball. Wierman finished the night going 18-35 from the face-off along with a goal and an assist. Erksa once again led the Terps on offense with his four goals and one assist. Kyle Long finishes his Maryland career with a three assists game.

Related Links

Maryland makes the cut for WR Javarius Green

Towering 2026 Carolina TE explains early interest in Maryland (+)

VIP: fallout from Ian Martinez transfer, Florida DB, four-star update (+)

Veteran guard Ian Martinez enters the transfer portal

David Cox on reuniting with Mike Jones, working under Kevin Willard, returning production

Four-star LB Aaron Chiles talks contenders, official visit schedule (+)

Four-star RB Dilin Jones updates recruitment, talks official visits (+)

Local guard sets pair of official visits, including Maryland (+)