Moments after No. 3 Maryland had sealed an 11-8 victory over No. 8 Johns Hopkins on Saturday afternoon, Terps players wore gray-colored hats celebrating their ability to capture the Big Ten regular-season championship outright and earn the top seed in the conference tournament.

But it didn't take senior midfielder Bryan Cole very long to begin thinking about Thursday's semifinal against No. 19 Penn State at the same Homewood Field in Baltimore where Maryland had defeated the Blue Jays.


"Kind of getting the chance to win that outright for the first time was pretty nice," Cole said. "But I'm looking ahead, and I think our whole team is. We want to win the Big Ten tournament now and solidify a spot in the [NCAA] playoffs. But that's just the way I'm thinking, and I think the rest of the guys are, too."

To make Cole’s wish a reality, the Terps (12-32 overall and 5-0 in the Big Ten) must get past a Nittany Lions squad (6-8, 2-3) that extended their regular-season meeting on April 10 into overtime and then meet with Johns Hopkins (8-5, 3-2) or No. 16 Rutgers (10-3, 3-1) in Saturday’s title game.

Maryland coach John Tillman acknowledged the difficulty of navigating three opponents that his team defeated by a total of seven goals.

"It's tough," he said. "It's tough the first time, and it's going to be really hard the second time. I think for our guys, we want them to enjoy the moment and enjoy today. But come Monday, it's back to work. You're going to get everybody's best shot at this time of the year. We have to get better at some things and improve some things or it's going to be one-and-done. Penn State's a great team. We were very fortunate. One-goal games, they can go either way. That seems to be the norm in our conference. So we're going to have to play better this time. They're just a terrific team. They're putting up a ton of goals. So we're going to have to get to work on Monday."

Circling back to "Three Things to Watch"

1) Maryland's defense vs. Johns Hopkins' offense. The Blue Jays went from tying a season high in goals with 19 at Michigan the week before to tying a season low against the Terps. Aside from Maryland sophomore defenseman Tim Muller limiting sophomore attackman Shack Stanwick (Boys' Latin) to only two assists, junior midfielders John Crawley and Cody Radziewicz combined for three shots without scoring and zero assists. Johns Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala said the offense did not move the ball quickly enough against the Terps.

"We wanted to dodge right away so that they couldn't set up," he said. "I felt like early in the game, they were doing what we wanted to do. They'd carry it behind and go right to the invert and dodge. We were setting it up and pulling it out and attacking, which gave them an opportunity to set up."

2) Johns Hopkins' defense vs. Maryland's offense. The Terps have always been a patient bunch, and that approach led to some impatient play by the Blue Jays. Pietramala said there were times when the defenders made the wrong decisions on slides or weren't quick enough to recover. Those factors played a role in Maryland scoring seven of their 11 goals either in the slot or on the crease.

"That's something we've been working on all season," Cole said. "Every time the ball moves down or up, just cut the crease. I'm always trying to be available. When slides go, just follow the slides. Nothing really in terms of game plan or different from any other team. It's just something we really wanted to focus on in this game. Just cutting pipes and looking for an open spot inside."

3) Maryland's faceoffs vs. Johns Hopkins faceoffs. The Terps entered the game having won 56.7 percent (160 of 282) of their draws, but they were no match for Blue Jays senior Craig Madarasz, who tied a career high with 17 faceoff wins. Freshmen Will Bonaparte got all five of Maryland's draws, while freshman Curtis Corley (0-for-3) and senior Andrew Walsh (0-for-1) went 0-for-4. Freshman Austin Henningsen (leg) is closer to returning from a four-game absence, but Tillman said the team must improve quickly.

"We certainly have to take a look at some things and do a better job there," he said. "I don't think you're going to come up here and do this ever again. Going 5-of-22, you're not going to be very successful doing that. I thought we got a few late, which helped us, and I think in the third quarter when we got a few, it allowed our offense to get some rhythm back and give our defense a rest."

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