COLLEGE PARK — Maryland scored nine straight goals in the second half, including eight in the third quarter, to easily defeat Johns Hopkins, 18-10, on Saturday at Maryland Stadium in men’s college lacrosse.
Through the years the two teams have engaged in perhaps the most intense rivalry in the game, but the close competition lasted only two quarters Saturday when the two teams were tied, 7-7, at the half.
And then the No. 3-ranked Terps (3-0) went on a roll to turn the game into a rout. Senior attackman Jared Bernhardt led Maryland with five goals, three of them in the third quarter. Attackmen Anthony DeMario and Daniel Maltz had four and three goals, respectively, for the Terps while midfielder Logan Wisnauskas (Boys’ Latin) finished with seven assists.
Attackman Joey Epstein led No. 20 Hopkins with three goals and fellow attackman Cole Williams (Loyola Blakefield) and Connor DeSimone each had two.
“This was certainly not the way we wanted to start the game,” said Maryland head coach John Tillman, whose team had six first-half turnovers. “You have to give Hopkins credit; they played with a little more juice than we did [early]. We knew they were going to be patient on offense and we had told our guys to dig in and get ready for the challenge. On defense, they were packing it in and getting good slides. If we don’t cut and get good movement off ball than we’re not as good of a team.
“At halftime, the theme was just stay together,” Tillman said. “We wanted to believe in each other and stay true to the process. I’m happy to have a great start in the third quarter, but I didn’t think it would be an eight-goal third quarter.”
The Terps dominated the period. They won five of nine faceoffs and outshot the Blue Jays, 15-4. During Maryland’s scoring burst, Hopkins turned the ball over on three possessions and took only one shot.
Wisnauskas, Bernhardt and midfielder Bubba Fairman scored in the first six minutes of the third quarter and Bernhardt added two more in the next five minutes to give Maryland a 12-7 lead with four minutes and 23 seconds left in the quarter.
From then on, it was a Maryland rout. The Terps led, 15-7, at the end of the period. Because of Hopkins’ deliberate offense, the Blue Jays were in trouble.
“I think they [Maryland] played well in the third quarter,” said Hopkins coach Peter Milliman, when asked if Maryland was simply a better team. “Maybe we didn’t show up in the third quarter. I thought the first half was a pretty good comparison. We were scrappy, we were competing. They were clearly better when we made as many mistakes as we did in the second half.
“I think it was a matter of one team competing and one losing its fight a little,” Milliman said.
On defense, the Blue Jays couldn’t cope with Maryland’s offense in the second half. Hopkins was basically a step slow on most slides and the Blue Jays got caught ball watching several times on give-and-go or backdoor plays.
The game was basically a tale of 60 minutes and Hopkins played 30. Actually, it was an improvement for the Blue Jays. Milliman is at a disadvantage. No coaches had fall practice, but that made it even more difficult for a first-year coach with an entirely new coaching staff.
“We’re making some progress,” Milliman said. “It was the best first half we’ve played, the best lacrosse we’ve played, but it was not sustained.
“Teams are not tested on 30 minutes, they are tested on 60 minutes,” he said.