Maryland Routs Rutgers to Capture Fourth Big Ten Championship

PHOTO COURTESY OF MARYLAND ATHLETICS


Maryland’s masterful 2022 season remained unblemished Saturday, as the top-ranked Terps trounced third-ranked Rutgers 17-7 in the Big Ten men’s lacrosse championship game in College Park.

The win assured Maryland (14-0) of its 19th straight NCAA tournament appearance, not that it ever was in question. The Terps were already a lock for the No. 1 seed. They improved to 34-1 all-time against the Scarlet Knights, who despite the lopsided loss likely secured a first-round home game with their semifinal win over Ohio State on Thursday.

Maryland certainly didn’t play like its fourth Big Ten title was a moot point. The Terps’ prolific, unselfish offense showed up in a big way. Twelve of their 17 goals were assisted. Tewaaraton candidate and Maryland’s all-time leading scorer Logan Wisnauskas conducted the symphony once again with four goals and three assists.

But it was the defense that, combined with faceoff man Luke Wierman’s 20-for-26 performance, rendered Rutgers powerless. The Scarlet Knights eighth-ranked offense failed to reach double figures only twice this season. Both times came against the Terps, who limited Rutgers to just 35 shots and 20 percent shooting. Defensemen Brett Makar and Owen Prybylski and short-stick defensive midfielder Roman Pugliese each caused two turnovers.

Maryland held Rutgers scoreless for more than 28 minutes as the Terps turned a 2-2 tie into an 8-2 advantage. The Scarlet Knights pulled within five at one point in the third quarter, but Maryland answered with three goals in the final 2:09 of the frame to put the game out of reach. Anthony DeMaio contributed four goals and two assists for the Terps.

If defense wins championships, Maryland is plenty capable in that phase.

If offense wins championships, the Terps might as well schedule their ring ceremony.

If special teams, goalie play (Logan McNaney improved to 31-1 as a starter) and faceoff excellence win championships, Maryland has those qualities in spades as well.

Of course, the Terps were undefeated in 2021 as well. They obliterated their Big Ten competition and advanced to the NCAA championship game, falling a goal short in a 17-16 loss to Virginia in East Hartford, Connecticut.

This Maryland team sure seems destined to get back to Rentschler Field. The Terps will learn of the path there Sunday when the brackets are revealed on ESPNU.







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