Maryland men’s lacrosse leans on defense to tame the Tigers in 11-5 win

Maryland faced Princeton in a top-ten matchup and rematch of last season’s semifinal game where the Terps came out on top 13-8. On Saturday, fans saw a similar result as Maryland pulled off the 11-5 road win to move to 3-1.

Head coach John Tillman opened the game with a surprising change at goal, giving freshman Brian Ruppel his first career start. Maryland opened with the first possession of the game but would end up getting a shot clock violation. Luckily however the Terps would force a turnover on the Tiger clear and force a penalty to go man up for a two minutes early.  Kelly would take advantage of the man-up and open the scoring on the day. Princeton was able to kill out the rest of the penalty. In the first five minutes of the game, the Terps were controlling the possession thanks to a plethora of caused turnovers off of Tigers failed clears. The Terps were getting possession after possession but just were not able to hit the back of the net before Princeton was able to get the ball back for a full possession. For the next seven minutes, just like the beginning, neither offense was able to come away with anything with both defenses playing great. The Terps would end up getting another man up opportunity but were not able to capitalize. However, a couple seconds after the man up chance, Owen Murphy scored another goal for the Terps to make it 2-0. The score would stay that way to end the first quarter. Both offenses will be looking to pick it up with neither offense truly playing well.

Wierman started the second quarter with another face-off win but the Terps would end up turning it over shortly after. Luckily, the Terps would force yet another failed clear by the Tigers and get the ball back. The Tigers would get the ball back after a save from their goalie and would end up scoring off a high bounce shot on their next possession to cut the Terps lead to one. After some more back and forth play by both teams, Daniel Maltz was able to sneak a shot past the Tigers goalie to make it 3-1 Terps. The game started as a game that looked like it was going to be a slow grind it out kind of game and the second quarter showed more of the same. Deeper into the quarter, both defenses kept up their dominance in what was becoming a very physical game between the two teams and would stay a 3-1 game heading into halftime. Ruppel in his first start of his career had eight saves so far. Wierman was doing what Wierman does and was dominant from the face-off with a 67% win percentage. Terps defense has caused five turnovers so far with Brett Makar leading the way with two.

Princeton would make a change at goal to start the second half. Wierman would win another face-off to start the second half, and the Terps would take advantage right away with Kelly scoring his second goal of the day from a shot right on the crease to make it 4-1. After a great low save by Ruppel, the Terps took the ball down the field and Maltz was able to score his second goal on the day to extend their lead to four. Wierman would win the ensuing face-off but the Terps would turn it over right after. The Tigers then took advantage of it and scored to bring the lead back to three. The TIger would then commit yet another flag giving the Terps another man up opportunity. Maltz would go on to score on the man up opprtunity making it his third goal of the day giving him a hat trick to make it 6-2 Terps. Maltz off of a nice assist by Braden Erksa would go along to score his fourth of the day off yet another shot right on the crease. But off the quick face-off win by the Tigers, they would score right back to make it a four point lead once again. Coach Tillman would ask for a stick check on the Princeton face-off man and it was quickly determined to be illegal giving them a three minute man up opportunity and would also wipe off the Tiger goal to make the score go back to 7-2. Thanks to another penalty by the Tigers due to an offsides, the Terps would get a two man up opportunity and Jack Koras would take advantage and score his first goal of the day to make it 8-2 Terps. After a Wierman face-off win, Koras would score his second on the day going five hole past the goalie to extend the Terps lead to seven. The Terps would get yet another man up opportunity but would wind up getting caught out of position on defense and would give up another goal to the Tigers to make it 9-3. Right after though, the Terps would score yet again off a nice top corner shot by Ryan Siracusa to make it 10-3 Terps which would be the score heading into the fourth quarter. The Terps offense was finally able to come alive in large part to the Tigers committing lots of penalties as well as the Tigers taking out their goalie who was playing great in the first half.

To start the fourth quarter, the Terps would wind up committing their first penalty on the day with a 30 second flag on Dante Trader. The Terps would wind up killing the penalty and keep it a seven goal game. However, a couple minutes later, the Tigers would wind up scoring to cut the Terp lead to six with just under 13 minutes left in the game. Just over a minute later, the Tigers would score yet another goal to keep chipping at the Terps lead. Both defense would start to just anchor down and not let up anything for a big chunk of the quarter. Once it got down to a little over two minutes left in the game, Princeton would start to double the man with the ball and the Terps took advantage of the open goal thanks to another goal from Koras to give himself a hat trick along with Maltz. The Terps would wind up closing out the game and pulling off the road upset 11-5.

Thanks to four goals from Maltz and a hat trick from Koras, his second consecutive game notching the feat, Maryland has now had a hat trick in 61 straight games dating back to February 2, 2019. Following the win, Maryland walks away with confidence on the backend in Ruppel’s first appearance. Against a top-five opponent on the road, Maryland allowed just five goals against 14 saves for a 74% save percentage.

Maryland will be coming back home next week as they will take on the #2 ranked Fighting Irish of Notre Dame at 1 pm to try and pull off their second win over a top-five team in two weeks.

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