Maryland men’s lacrosse cage Blue Jays in 14-9 win in Big Ten semis

The Terps once again battling injuries, overcame adversity and came out on top in a revenge game over Johns Hopkins, 14-9, thanks to a stout defensive effort and an efficient offense.

To say the game started poorly for the Terps would be somewhat of an understatement. Hopkins got out to a 3-0 within the first six minutes of the game. After the third goal, head coach John Tillman called a timeout to settle the Terps down and get them focused on the task at hand. After the time out, the Terps offense started to find a groove ad go on a scoring run. Jack Koras got the Terps going with a goal assisted by Kyle Long before the end of the first quarter to make it 3-1 after 15 minutes of play.

To start the second half, Daniel Kelly scored to cut the lead to one off of yet another assist by Long. The Blue Jays wound up getting a goal back to put the lead back to two, but after that, the Terps’ offense started to light it up. The Terps wound up going on a 4-0 run to end the half to give them the 6-4 lead heading into halftime. Ryan Siracusa, and Zach Whittier both scored a goal during the run while Braden Erksa scored the other two goals. Kelly added to his total point tally with an assist on Erksa’s second goal.

The Terps had all the momentum heading into the second half, but to start out the second half, the Blue Jays would be the team to start the scoring. However, Owen Murphy would get his first goal on the day to put the Terps’ lead back to two. The Blue Jays would once again cut the lead back to one but Eric Spanos would extend the lead back to two. Hopkins would score once more to cut the lead to one, but the Terps would go on a three-goal run to expand the lead to four. Whittier would score his second on the day while Murphy would score the other two to give him a hat trick on the day. With a minute and a half left in the third quarter, Hopkins would stop the Terps scoring run with another goal to try and give them some momentum heading into the final quarter, but Siracusa would score his second goal on the day to put the lead back to four and give the momentum back to the Terps heading into the last 15 minutes.

In the fourth quarter, the Terps started to simply milk out the clock on offense to try and seal the win. The Terps would wind up scoring two more goals in the final frame thanks to two goals from Jack Brennan. Brian Ruppel and the Terps defense just started to absolutely shut down the Blue Jays offense only allowing one more goal in the fourth quarter, sealing the five-point victory.

John Geppert was very limited in the game only coming on the field while the Terps were in man-down situations. Ajax Zappitello was on the sidelines with his arm in a sling with a cast on it. But the Terps defense played through the injuries and shut down a high-powered Johns Hopkins offense. Will Schaller got his second start of his career and made the most of it, holding his matchup Jacob Angelus to just one assist all game long. Nick Redd made the switch from a short stick to a long stick defensive midfielder again and helped shut down a talented Hopkins offensive midfield as well. Schaller finished the game with three ground balls picked up and an assist while Redd had two caused turnovers on the day. Ruppel finished the game with 11 saves and Luke Wierman finished the game going 50% (13-26) from the face-off.

The Terps will get a much-wanted rematch with the Michigan Wolverines after the Wolverines upset top-seed Penn State on Thursday. Michigan beat the Terps 16-11 in College Park back on April 1st. After avenging one loss in conference play in the semifinals, the Terps will look to avenge their second loss of conference play on Saturday at 5:30 against the Wolverines at Homewood Field.

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