Anthony DeMaio’s overtime goal sends Maryland’s No.3 men’s lacrosse to Championship weekend
(Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics.)
Just as they have done hundreds of times in their careers in Maryland (14-0, B1G), Anthony DeMaio gave in to Logan Wisnauskas. However, that connection was very special with DeMaio cutting through the backdoor running back and forth with Wisnauskas.
Catching the pass in stride to the cage, DeMaio buried the match winner ahead of Liam Entenmann by sending the Terps to the Championship weekend for the first time since 2018.
Having won the match in the overtime thriller 14-13, DeMaio ripped his helmet off and was beset by a sea of teammates greeting the Notre Dame faithful (8-4). DeMaio’s finish put the finishing touches on a courageous Maryland comeback effort that was trailed by three early in the fourth quarter.
“I think these guys have great chemistry,” head coach John Tillman said of Wisnauskas and DeMaio. “When it comes to making decisions, I’ll take these two guys any day of the week. There is a lot of trust built there. “
In what was a back-and-forth affair throughout, Maryland stepped up in all three areas of the field on the stretch. Despite winning just 10 of 30 team faceoffs, Luke Wierman won the decisive one to start overtime, giving possession to the Terps. Heading into extra time with less than a minute left in rule, it was the Terps defense that closed the door for the Fighting Irish, leaving no room for their offense for a potential winner.
Offensively, Jared Bernhardt led the way with five goals, while Wisnauskas (3G, 1A) and DeMaio (1G, 3A) showed their cool each with four points respectively. Half of their points came in the fourth quarter and overtime, helping the Terps move up in the fourth quarter.
“It’s just about making sure we have balance in the moment, have good body language, stay positive and stay neutral,” Tillman said. “We talked about having a post-whole game play mentality. We talked about not being frustrated.
Logan McNaney finished with 10 saves, making several critical saves and contested runs in the second half, as the Terps’ defense locked in as pressure built up through the fourth quarter ranks.
The first half was defined by races with each team executing a five-goal push. After Wheaton Jackoboice opened the scoring at 1:26 in the game, the Terps responded with five straight goals to close the opening quarter.
Bernhardt and Griffin Brown catalyzed the early offense each with a pair of goals, while the Terps defense forced several shot clock violations, giving the Terps a 5-1 lead after 15 minutes.
However, the second quarter was very different, Notre-Dame finding its rhythm at both ends off the field. Jackoboice and Sean Leahey sparked the Fighting Irish return with three of their five unanswered goals, taking a 6-5 lead with 5:47 left in the first half.
The Terps lost eight of nine faceoffs in the second quarter, unable to generate consistent possessions to stop the run. As he has been doing all season, Bernhardt accelerated with back-to-back goals putting Maryland back in the top 7-6 shortly before halftime. Less than a minute later, Jackoboice evened things up for the Fighting Irish sending the game at halftime even at seven.
Similar to the first half, the third quarter was a physical back and forth affair throughout. Building on their formidable first half, Bernhardt scored the opening goal of the second half, putting Maryland back in the top 8-7. After that, the Fighting Irish found their way.
They scored five of the next six goals fueled by a selfless attack and formidable saves from Entenmann. He made six saves in the third quarter, smothering Terps shooters from all angles, sparking energy for the Fighting Irish and their fans.
Eric Dobson started the race with a pair of goals, while Pat Kavanagh, David Lipka and Will Yorke each added goals. Yorke’s finish extended Notre Dame’s lead to 12-9 with 12:01 to go and it looked like the Terps were in serious trouble.
Facing their biggest deficit in the fourth quarter of the season, Maryland responded with high effort plays and a quick offense. Wisnauskas started the race with a perfectly placed rebound on DeMaio’s flow. 28 seconds later, Kyle Long brought the Terps down to less than one, featuring a blast of speed down the lane for the finish.
The tying goal was a perfect example of Maryland’s efficiency in transition as Wierman found Daniel Maltz on the fastbreak after a forced roll and a contested ground ball catch.
“It’s something this team is proud of, we all believe in each other,” said DeMaio. “We trust each other throughout the game, everyone trusted and trusted each other.”
Now in full swing, Wisnauskas completed his second half hat trick with a rifle shot to Entenmann’s side arm. That finish put the Terps back in the top 13-12 with 6:52 to go as the Maryland faithful got louder.
Now lagging behind, Jackoboice tied the game at 13 with 4:24 remaining on a superb attacking set, as the Maryland defense struggled to recover. The 4:24 final of the regulation featured a defensive clinic, evidenced by painstakingly timed checks from Nick Grill smothering Kavanagh and Arden Cohen smothering Bernhardt.
Then, after 39 seconds of overtime, the combination of DeMaio’s veteran vision and Wisnauskas anticipation sent the Terps thrilled into the Championship weekend with a clash against No.2 seed Duke on the weekend. next end.