Maryland men’s lacrosse loses tight rivalry game against Johns Hopkins

COLLEGE PARK – The No. 4-ranked Maryland men’s lacrosse team hosted No. 7-ranked Johns Hopkins Saturday night in the 2023 rendition of “The Rivalry,” which was both teams’ regular-season finale.

The game lived up to the hype, with both lacrosse powerhouses playing an intense affair, but the visiting Blue Jays came out on top for the 12-11 victory over the Terps, winning a share of the Big Ten regular season title.

The match featured eight lead changes, symbolic of the comparative affair until Johns Hopkins pulled late to earn the road victory. With the loss, the Terps finished the regular season 8-4 overall and 3-2 in conference play and will be the No. 3 seed in the Big Ten tournament, where they will host No. 6 seed Rutgers in the quarterfinals.

“Losing by a goal in this game is always tough,” said Maryland head coach John Tillman. “Gotta give credit to your opponent; we always do. Unfortunately, I feel like we made a lot of mistakes.”

Maryland vs. Johns Hopkins Photo Gallery by Alp Torumtay

Freshman Braden Erksa finished with a career-high five points with four goals and an assist – tying a career-high — while Daniel Maltz also scored four goals.

However, Jacob Angelus stepped up for Johns Hopkins with three goals and an assist, while Russell Melendez, Garrett Degnon, Matt Collison and Johnathan Peshko scored two goals each.

“Some of the fifth-year guys are fortunate,” said Maryland goalie John Geppert, “because we were here in 2019 where we were in a similar spot and lost to Hopkins on our own stadium. Hopefully, we can learn from that experience [like] when we were younger and use it.”

Maryland held a 3-2 lead after the first quarter as Maltz, Daniel Kelly, and Kyle Long all scored for the Terps.

The Blue Jays then scored two goals in 31 seconds to regain a 4-3 lead with seven minutes left in the half. Angelus scored one of those goals off a back-handed assist from Melendez.

Erksa scored two unassisted goals to put Maryland up 5-4 at the end of the half. Yet, Johns Hopkins opened the third quarter and scored two goals to retake a one-goal lead.

Maryland responded with two goals in 35 seconds as Nick Redd scored the first tally of his career on a full-field rush and score while Erksa scored his third on the evening.

April 22, 2023: Game action during a Big Ten men’s lacrosse match between Maryland and Johns Hopkins in College Park, Maryland. (Alp Torumtay/The Sports Pulse)

Both teams traded the lead on back-to-back goals, capped off by Melendez scoring for the Blue Jays to give them a one-goal advantage by the end of the third quarter.

Maltz tied the game again for Maryland early in the fourth quarter, but Johns Hopkins scored twice, giving the Blue Jays the first multi-goal lead of the night.

Maltz fired off his fourth goal of the night with 54 seconds left to get the Terps within one, but they ran out of time to tie the game, giving their Baltimore rivals the victory.

“I’m certainly proud of our guys,” said Tillman. “They kept fighting until the end. They had a chance to tie it. We had a lot of new guys out there.”

Feature photo by Alp Torumtay/The Sports Pulse

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