Maryland Lacrosse took their flag and staked out a spot in the national championship game once again, but this time around, few saw them getting there. Will this be the year the Terps break back through, and win another NCAA D1 Men’s Lacrosse title? This will be their third trip to the finals in 5 years, and they want to win it this time around!
Maryland Lacrosse Tops Hopkins 12-11
The Terps lost a lot to graduation last year, and then they lost another stud player to transfer, and another become ineligible. For most people. yours truly included, this meant Maryland Lacrosse would have to rebuild… but the Terps clearly have other ideas. This was evident in how Maryland came out of the gate, and they built up a 4-1 lead with strong face off play, good team defense, and a controlled offense, where moments of fast pace attacking would often follow slower 1-2 minute possessions.
Hopkins answered in the second quarter, and all thoughts of a blowout game were quickly dismissed, even if Maryland was able to put in two more goals before the half, to take a 6-4 lead into the break. Two more goals (one from each team) pushed the score to 7-5, and then Maryland really opened things up, amassing a 10-5 lead, after a three goal run.
At this point, Hopkins came to life and put up 5 straight goals to tie the game at 10 with about 12 minutes left in the final quarter, and fans began to wonder if another overtime game was headed our way. Matt Rambo, who at that point had four points on 2 goals and 2 assists, took over. He demanded the ball at times, initiated and created all day, and truly looked like a go-to guy. He scored Maryland’s final two goals, and gave the Terps some much needed, late game breathing room.
Hopkins wasn’t done, and got plenty of good chances to tie the game back up. They got within one goal with a little over a minute left, but their final chance was saved by Kyle Bernlohr, and their cinderella run to the finals was over. Bernlohr played well at times, but only made six saves in the win. However, his last second save sealed the 12-11 win for Maryland, so he definitely made the big save when it counted. The Maryland O and D took care of the rest.
With Maryland facing Denver on Monday, we’re guaranteed to see a great game. Both teams have a truly strong face off game, and both can hold the ball on offense for long periods of time, and then strike when the opposing defense falters, even for a second. Both goalies are capable of being game changers, and both defensive groups play strong team defense. It should be a superb contest, between two truly even teams in many departments.
Monday’s final will likely come down to individual players making unbelievable plays. And that’s a game I can’t wait to watch.
Check out the box score from the game here.