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No. 7 Maryland men’s lacrosse shakes off rust in 14-9 victory over No. 5 Notre Dame

Center, Jack Brennan, Maryland, watches his shot as he scores in the second quarter of their Maryland men's lacrosse at Maryland Stadium. Notre Dame defenders are, left, John Hallenbeck and Jack Kielty. February 29, 2020.
Center, Jack Brennan, Maryland, watches his shot as he scores in the second quarter of their Maryland men's lacrosse at Maryland Stadium. Notre Dame defenders are, left, John Hallenbeck and Jack Kielty. February 29, 2020. (Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun)

COLLEGE PARK — At one point in the past two weeks, members of the Maryland men’s lacrosse team were so decimated by an assortment of illnesses and injuries that coach John Tillman wasn’t sure who would be available for practices.

So an 11-day layoff created by the postponement of a home game against Navy on Feb. 22 proved to be beneficial as the No. 7 Terps awoke from an early-season slumber to throttle No. 5 Notre Dame, 14-9, before an announced 2,825 at Maryland Stadium Saturday afternoon.

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Redshirt junior attackman Logan Wisnauskas scored a game-high five goals, senior attackman Jared Bernhardt added two goals and two assists, and freshman attackman Daniel Maltz chipped in one goal and a personal-best three assists to help Maryland forget about a 13-12 upset loss at Villanova on Feb. 18.

“It had been a long 10 days, and I even mentioned it to them the past few days,” Tillman said. “Really proud of how those guys handled the 10 days. It’s tough to go that long and not get stale and stagnant, and the guys did a really good job with their preparation.”

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Justin Shockey, Maryland, wins the face off against Charles Leonard, Notre Dame in the first quarter of their men's lacrosse game at Maryland Stadium. February 29, 2020.
Justin Shockey, Maryland, wins the face off against Charles Leonard, Notre Dame in the first quarter of their men's lacrosse game at Maryland Stadium. February 29, 2020. (Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun)

The Terps (4-1), who also got an 18-of-26 outing in faceoffs and 11 ground balls from junior faceoff specialist Justin Shockey and 10 saves from freshman goalkeeper Logan McNaney in his first career start, outshot the Fighting Irish (2-1), 64-31, and collected 15 more ground balls (38-23).

Senior defenseman Nick Grill, who limited Notre Dame senior midfielder Bryan Costabile (Mount St. Joseph) to two goals on nine shots and one assist, said he and his teammates were eager to end their inactivity.

“I think it made us a little bit hungry,” he said. “We wanted to go out. We hadn’t played in 11 days. So we just wanted to go prove that we were getting better in those 11 days. We were ready to go play against a Top 5 team and just show them what we’re made of, and we were ready for that.”

Turning point

Maryland owned a 7-5 lead at halftime, but the Fighting Irish got goals from Costabile and junior attackman Mikey Drake in a 1:39 span to tie the score with 10:51 left in the third quarter.

Notre Dame senior Charles Leonard won the ensuing faceoff, but turned the ball over under pressure from Bernhardt, who pounced on the restart to find Maltz alone for a one-on-one opportunity against freshman goalie Liam Entenmann that he took full advantage of.

Maltz’s tally proved significant as the Terps scored two more goals to close the period and then four of the first five goals of the last frame.

“That goal at 7-7 was huge,” Tillman said. “When Maltzy got that goal from Jared off a broken play, huge play. No doubt about it.”

Jack Brennan, Maryland, advances the ball as Daniel Cassidy, Notre Dame, tracks him in the second quarter of their Maryland men's lacrosse at Maryland Stadium. February 29, 2020.
Jack Brennan, Maryland, advances the ball as Daniel Cassidy, Notre Dame, tracks him in the second quarter of their Maryland men's lacrosse at Maryland Stadium. February 29, 2020. (Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun)

Freshman performance

Sophomore Chris Brandau had started in each of Maryland’s first four games, but per Tillman’s decision, he was replaced in favor of McNaney, who became the first true freshman to start since Brian Phipps in 2007.

McNaney was outshined by Fighting Irish counterpart Liam Entenmann, who made nine of his game-high 16 stops in the first half, but McNaney had his moments. He made a stick save on junior midfielder Wheaton Jackoboice from the slot in the second quarter, used his stick again to turn away a Costabile shot from inside the left point later in the period, and stopped junior midfielder John Hallenbeck and sophomore attackman Griffin Westlin on back-to-back possessions in the fourth quarter.

“Logan being a freshman coming in here and playing against a Top 5 team, you’ve got to give him all the credit in the world being in a difficult spot,” Grill said. “He played great in practice and earned that. So just making it easy for him, especially in front of him and giving him save-able shots and giving him the confidence that he’s out there for a reason and that we’ve got his back no matter what. Even if he didn’t see one or gave up a bad goal, just understand that he’s got the next one and we have all the confidence in him to make the next one.”

(Lack of) Fighting Irish

Notre Dame had pasted Cleveland State and then-No. 17 Richmond by an average of nine goals, but Saturday was the program’s first road game of the season.

The Fighting Irish’s relative youth appeared to catch up to them as the faceoff unit was outclassed, the defense and midfield turned the ball over on four clears in the first quarter and five for the entire first half, and the offense never took more than nine shots in any period.

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Coach Kevin Corrigan, who said his team had 11 fewer possessions than the Terps did in the first half, accepted blame for not preparing his players, but also didn’t mince words about the showing.

“In the second half, we lost our discipline, we stopped a lot of things,” he said. “We didn’t challenge the ball one-on-one. They won too many matchups. At the end of the day, they played harder than we did today. They won the ground balls, they won the faceoffs, they rode the middle of the field, and because of that, they won the game.”

ALBANY@NO. 7 MARYLAND

Saturday, 1 p.m.

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