Quint Returns Maryland to #1 Lacrosse Team in the Nation

Excerpt from Insidelacrosse.com by Quint Kessenich

1. Maryland ‘Be the Best’ checked Penn State into the heartbreak hotel on Friday night, winning 13-7 behind seven points from Jared Bernhardt. Fellow attackmen Logan Wisnauskas and Daniel Maltz added five points apiece. OC Bob Benson had his unit ready for the slide-happy Nittany Lion defense as Maryland racked up 11 assists. Turtles won the second half 8-3 as Conor Calderone stopped the face-off bleeding. Most impressive on the night were the defensive groundballs scooped up by Brett Makar (4), Nick Grill (6) and Matt Rahill (4) and goalie Logan McNaney (3). These guys were sturdy and tough. The only longterm issue is bench scoring — there was none. 

This was the most complete team effort I’ve seen in 2021; not necessarily the best or most talented, but the most balanced (Offense/Defense/Specialists). Coach Benson continues his textbook work with the extra-man unit — the main staple being to get the ball behind the goal, and changing formations while the defenders’ heads and eyes are in motion, creating two-on-one read for the feeder. It’s difficult for defenders to recognize formations, rotate and cover cutter assignments when their back is turned on the formation. If I were defending Maryland’s EMO, I would dictate the terms of engagement with shutoffs, strike pressure and/or a hard rotation. It would make them more vanilla and basic.

The Terps improved to 37-1 all-time against Penn State since the series began in 1924. Penn State claims that historical stat is 41-3. Regardless, Maryland is 7-1 in the series since the start of Big Ten play in 2015. Maryland welcomes Johns Hopkins to College Park on Saturday on BTN Plus.

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