Maryland Deals Hopkins Its Most Lopsided Loss in Storied History


Former Johns Hopkins player Owen Murphy retrieves the wooden crab trophy after scoring four goals in Maryland's 22-7 victory Saturday at Homewood Field.

BALTIMORE — Maryland’s most important piece of business Saturday night at Homewood Field formally wrapped up at least five minutes earlier, and truth be told it was effectively over an hour and a half before that.

Still, there was one last item on the agenda, and Owen Murphy was tired of waiting.

The sophomore had already matched his career high with four goals as the Terrapins dealt Johns Hopkins a 22-7 pummeling, the most lopsided loss in the Blue Jays’ storied history. Now, the former Hopkins attackman gleefully scampered over to midfield where the wooden crab trophy awarded to the long-running rivalry’s winner was sitting unattended.

About as quickly as Maryland buried the Blue Jays, Murphy hauled the hefty crustacean back to a huddle with his celebrating teammates.

“I know how much it meant to him just because of last year and Hopkins,” attackman Eric Malever said. “He’s such a great player for us and he had a great game. It was so awesome to see how excited he was to lift that crab up for us.”

Maryland did not make Murphy available for the postgame press conference after the game, but it’s not hard to imagine how anyone associated the Terps (12-0, 5-0 Big Ten) felt about wrapping up their 29th victory in their last 30 games dating back to 2020.

Logan Wisnauskas scored five goals and added three assists, Keegan Khan matched Murphy with four goals and an assist and Logan McNaney made 11 saves for Maryland, which scored four goals in the first 3:29 and was never threatened.

Little went right for the Blue Jays (6-8, 2-3), who got a goal and an assist from Connor DeSimone.

“It was a tough day,” said coach Peter Milliman, who is 0-4 against Maryland in his two seasons with the Blue Jays. “That was not the best version of us.”

Clearly not, since Hopkins had never lost a game by more than 13 goals, most recently in the 2017 NCAA tournament against Duke. Maryland administered a couple 17-4 poundings, in 1954 and 1973. But was it the best version of Maryland? Perhaps.

As well as the Terps have played for most of the season —  this was their school-record sixth game with 20 or more goals — they did receive a scare last week against Ohio State before pulling away in the fourth quarter.

That victory locked up the top seed in the Big Ten tournament, leaving Maryland with the twin aims of claiming a fourth consecutive victory over its in-state rival to matching its longest in a series now spanning 123 games and tightening up for a May run that will ultimately define the Terps’ season.

Oh, and Hopkins threw two scares into an undefeated Maryland team late last season, once at Homewood and again in the Big Ten tournament.

“I reminded the guys in a couple of timeouts that we were down two goals with two minutes left [last season], so we had started fast last year and didn’t finish,” coach John Tillman said. “We were really on the guys to stay focused. We knew they would make a push or a run.”

Except the Blue Jays never really did. They managed consecutive goals to close to within 8-3 in the middle of the second quarter, only for Maryland to punch it out to 12-4 at the break.

Things got worse for Hopkins in the third quarter when Maryland scored on 10 of its 16 shots and the Blue Jays fired just three shots (one on cage) while the Terps expanded the lead to 22-4.

“At the end of the day, this wasn’t a performance or a showing that I think can resemble what this group is,” Hopkins attackman Joey Epstein said. “It’s what we put out there, so that’s what represents us right now. I think the bitter taste will motivate us and we’ll be better.”

Among the people sure to savor this experience was Murphy, who had eight goals and five assists in six games at Hopkins in 2020 as a freshman. He entered the transfer portal prior to the start of the 2021 season, sat out last year and eventually resurfaced at Maryland — a program he never actually faced as a Blue Jay.

He has 22 goals in his first year with the Terps, fourth most on the team behind Wisnauskas (40), Khan (26) and Jonathan Donville (25).

“I kept saying ‘Let’s make sure we breathe,’” Tillman said. “Obviously he had spent time here, so there’s always emotions and things like that. I was a little worried he would be emotional, so that was something we were keeping a gauge on. … I just wanted to make sure Owen didn’t overthink this thing. You have to play the game. Once the game starts, remember it’s the same game you’ve always played.”

As for the Blue Jays, they’d just as soon forget that Saturday had any connection to the game they’ve always played. It proved to be a forgettable Senior Day —  especially with those ceremonies scheduled for immediately after the game — but it won’t be Hopkins’ final home game this season.

Instead, the Blue Jays will be the No. 4 seed in the Big Ten tournament and play host to fifth-seeded Penn State on Saturday.

Win that, and Hopkins gets another week together. Win that, and Hopkins also gets another crack in the Big Ten semifinals at Maryland, a program the Blue Jays have never been so far from matching as they were Saturday.

“I’m proud of the seniors for what they’ve given to this program and what this program is going to do to honor them,” Milliman said. “Where we go from here is going to reflect that. I have confidence and assurance that we are going to handle this the right way and move forward from this the right way and honor these guys the way they deserve because this is not the last game on Homewood that these guys deserved.”

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