No. 4 Maryland men’s lacrosse unable to protect late two-goal lead, falls 13-12 in triple overtime to No. 2 Notre Dame

COLLEGE PARK — Back to the drawing board for the Maryland men’s lacrosse program.

After a pair of impressive wins against ranked opponents, the No. 4 Terps got a dose of deflating reality when senior attackman Pat Kavanagh scored from about 10 yards away midway through the third overtime to lift No. 2 Notre Dame to a 13-12 victory Saturday afternoon before an announced 6,001 at SECU Stadium.


For the first time since 2019, Maryland (3-2) was saddled with its second loss in the regular season. Unlike the 12-7 setback to formerly unranked Loyola Maryland at Ridley Athletic Complex on Feb. 11, coach John Tillman sounded encouraged by what he had seen from his players, who battled the Fighting Irish for more than two-and-a-half hours and through nine ties and 10 lead changes.

“Looking at where we are to where we were three weeks ago in Baltimore, I’m looking at the positives,” he said. “I know that we’ve come a long way. There’s just still more that we’ve got to do to get better, and with the new guys and young guys that we have out there, I’m excited about that.”


The Terps had been riding a two-game winning streak that included a 15-12 victory over then-No. 18 Syracuse on Feb. 18 and an 11-5 win at then-No. 3 Princeton on Feb. 25. Those wins seemed to suggest that the team had fixed what had plagued it during that loss to the Greyhounds — the program’s first setback since the 2021 NCAA Tournament final against Virginia.

Then again, perhaps Maryland’s early hiccups shouldn’t be surprising. They graduated four starters from last season’s historic offense, one defenseman and three of their top four short-stick defensive midfielders and then lost senior goalkeeper Logan McNaney (torn ACL) and graduate student short-stick defensive midfielder Joshua Coffman (undisclosed) to season-ending injuries.

“We knew this wasn’t going to be easy. We knew there was a lot of experience that we lost,” Tillman said. “But we also realize there are great opportunities for guys, and every time those guys get out there, it’s just more experience going forward. It’s all about Albany this week. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves. I’m super proud of the way the guys responded to the loss at Loyola, and we’re going to lean on the older guys to kind of make sure that we’re super focused this week to try to continue to get better and not let one game define us.”

Maryland defenseman Brett Makar carries the ball during a game against Richmond at SECU Stadium.

Saturday’s game was a typical back-and-forth affair between two of college lacrosse’s heavyweights with neither team earning more than a two-goal lead. Senior attackman Daniel Maltz’s second goal of the fourth quarter with 3:50 remaining gave the Terps a 12-10 lead.

But 36 seconds later, Notre Dame senior midfielder Reilly Gray cut the deficit in half with a shot from the right alley into the left side of the net. Then sophomore attackman Chris Kavanagh tied the score at 12 with a swim move past junior defenseman Ajax Zappitello, a drive to the right side of the crease, and a backhand shot past freshman goalkeeper Brian Ruppel (Catonsville) with 1:56 remaining.

Maryland won all three faceoffs to open each overtime session but either turned the ball over (a game-worst 20) or couldn’t solve a Fighting Irish defense anchored by senior goalie Liam Entenmann (game-best 14 saves).

In the third overtime, Pat Kavanagh began a dodge against Terps graduate student defenseman Brett Makar, swept across the top from right to left and fired a low shot past Ruppel (12 stops) and inside the right post with 2:06 left.

“Our offense was spaced well enough for me to turn it down the middle of the field,” said Pat Kavanagh, who had missed his first seven shots before his game-winner. “I just saw an opening, and I was kind of getting tired of them getting the ball back. So I took the shot and tried to end it.”


Maryland’s inability to protect that two-goal advantage with less than four minutes remaining was uncharacteristic of a team that prides itself on playing sound fundamentals. Maltz acknowledged that he and his teammates had anticipated such a scenario.

Maryland men's lacrosse coach John Tillman talks to his players during a game against Richmond at SECU Stadium.

“Every week, we practice [being] up three goals with three minutes left or down three goals with three minutes left,” said Maltz, who finished with two goals and two assists. “So I think we were definitely prepared for it, and that’s something we want to keep working on and get better at. I think we’ve just got to keep playing and not really think about where we are.”

Chris Kavanagh scored three goals for the Fighting Irish (4-0), Pat Kavanagh compiled one goal and two assists and graduate student long-stick midfielder Jose Boyer amassed four ground balls and two caused turnovers.

Saturday’s game marked the sixth time in the last seven meetings between the programs in which the outcome was decided by two goals or less. Coach Kevin Corrigan said the latest chapter to the teams’ rivalry was a reminder of how competitive they are.

“A lot of times, these games are not pretty games,” he said. “You get two teams that are really good and hang around, and you’ve just got to stand there and take some shots and come back from them. And I said to our team afterwards, ‘This is by far the worst we’ve played in terms of execution, but we were tough, and we hung in there.’ And I’m sure they feel the same way. I know they feel like they left some plays out there as well, but that’s the way games like this are sometimes.”

No. 4 Maryland at Albany


Saturday, noon

Stream: ESPN+