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Maryland Topples Princeton 13-8: D1 Lacrosse Semifinals

Maryland men’s lacrosse program is headed to their seventh NCAA National Championship game under John Tillman on Monday with a 13-8 victory over Princeton. The Terps will play the Cornell Big Red. 

“Do whatever you’ve gotta do to #BeTheBest.” That was Scott Van Pelt’s message to the Terp’s Thursday night. The Terps heard the message loud and clear.

Keegan Khan got the party started with a first-quarter hat trick to put the Terps up 5-1 at the end of the 1st quarter. The senior would have 5 points on the night (3G/2A). 

Princeton had an opportunity to regain momentum late in the second-quarter when Maryland’s John Geppert was called for a 3-minute non-releasable penalty for targeting. 

The Tiger’s Chris Brown would score 7 seconds later to cut Maryland’s lead 7-4, but the Tigers would never be able to draw closer. 

Logan Wisnauskus broke a 14-minute Terps scoring drought to put the Terps up 8-4 early in the 3rd quarter. Maryland was able to then extend their lead by scoring three goals in under a minute to help put the game away from Princeton, including two goals in under seven seconds from Owen Murphy. 

Princeton would battle back with two goals in the third to come within five goals but could get no closer. 

Wisnauskas added two goals in the fourth to secure the victory. The senior also became only the 6th player in NCAA history to break the 200+ goal mark for his career.

Maryland goalie Logan McNaney had a career-high 21 saves which is an absurd number for a lacrosse game. The junior is now 34-1 as a starter for the Terps. 

The Tigers had six different goal scorers and were led by Alexander Vardaro with two goals. Senior goalie Erik Peters had 13 saves. 

After the game, Tillman spoke of how much last year’s one-goal loss to Virginia has shaped and motivated the team. “They know what happened last year, they want to see if they can win that game this year.”

Maryland had two key defensive injuries in the game. Roman Puglise went out in the 2nd quarter with an upper- body injury and Brett Makar took a big shot in the 4th quarter. 

Knowing Coach Tillman and the Terps, the next man will be ready. 

Game Summary

First Quarter

Keegan Khan and the Terps didn’t let a 4-hour rain delay slow their start. The senior had a first-half hat trick to help the Terps to lead 5-1 after one. 

Princeton turnovers and being doubled up on ground balls gave the Terps too many opportunities. The Tigers had 5 turnovers in the first half and out hustled on the ground 10-5.

The Terps ended the first quarter on a 4-0 run, highlighted by Bubba Fairman’s (juice) goal in transition with under a minute to play.

Second Quarter

After a fast-paced first quarter, the two teams settled down and traded 2 goals apiece for the first 12 minutes. 

The Terps scored two goals on the Extra Man. Logan Wisnauskas became the sixth player in NCAA history to reach 200+ goals in his career.  Jonathan Donville had the other goal for the Terps. 

The Tigers found some luck dodging and scoring downhill against the Terps. The Tigers were able to seize momentum with 2 minutes to go in the second quarter.  

The Terps John Geppert received a 3-minute nonreleasable targeting penalty for a hit on Beau Pederson. Chris Brown scored 7 seconds into the penalty to bring the Tigers back within 3 goals.

The Tiger defense stiffened keeping Maryland scoreless for the last 7:45 of the 2nd quarter which is one of the rare occasions where a defense has stopped the Terps all lacrosse season. Terps D-mid Roman Puglise left the game in the second quarter with an upper body injury and did not return.  

Third Quarter 

The Tigers had the man advantage to start the 3rd and the Terps were scoreless for almost 14 minutes between the 2nd and 3rd quarters. Princeton couldn’t come any closer than three goals before the Terps caught fire again. 

Logan Wisnauskas broke the scoring open 11:36 into the 3rd quarter with a pretty goal from Jonathan Donville. Maryland then went into attack mode. for the rest of the lacrosse game. 

The Terps stretched their lead to 11-4 with 3 goals in just over a minute. Owen Murphy had two of those goals in  10 seconds. The Terps have scored 2 goals in seconds or less 12 times this year. (A great stat from Dan Artesia)

Princeton did not go away. The Tigers would get two goals from Alex Slusher and Alexander Vadaro to close the gap to 11-6 heading into the 4th quarter. 

Fourth Quarter

The two teams traded two-goals a piece in the final frame. Logan Wisnauskas added two more goals for the Terps. James Atkinson and Alex Vardaro scored for the Tigers. 

The Terps had a scary moment late in the 4th when Brett Makar took a nasty hit after a shot. 

Key Performance

  • Attack Logan Wisnauskus 4 goals (6th all-time with 200+ goals)  
  • Attack Keegan Khan: 3 goals, 2 assists 
  • Goalie Logan McNaney: Career-high 21 saves, 34-1 as a starter  
  • Goalie Erik Peters: 18 Saves
  • Attack Alexander Vadano 2 goals