By Justin Anderson.
On Saturday evening, Maryland and Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse played the 115th game in what is widely considered the greatest rivalry in college lacrosse. The No. 5 Terrapins came out on top in this battle of top 10 teams, as they defeated the No. 8 Blue Jays, 12-5.
The atmosphere at Maryland Stadium was electric and the 14,353 in attendance was the most for a regular season game since 1989.
“The crowd tonight, that’s as good as it gets,” Maryland coach John Tillman said. “I think we got a lot of energy from them.”
On a night of great accomplishment, where Maryland secured their third straight Big Ten regular season championship and took home “The Rivalry” trophy, it was senior attacker Matt Rambo who stood out. Rambo tallied a team-high seven points (three goals, four assists), tying his career mark and passing Bob Boneillo to become Maryland’s all-time points leader.
“It’s special to me,” Rambo said about breaking the points record. “I’ve got to thank all the teammates I’ve played with over the last four years and my coaches for developing me as a player.”
Maryland opened up the scoring with a goal from Connor Kelly (four goals) off an assist from Rambo. Shortly thereafter senior attacker Colin Heacock (three goals, one assist) tacked on another goal, also assisted by Rambo.
Maryland finished the first quarter with a barrage of goals from Kelly, junior midfielder Adam DiMillo and Rambo to give the Terps a 6-0 advantage going into the second quarter.
Kelly and the Terps didn’t waste any time in the second quarter, as the junior midfielder scored his career-high fourth goal 20 seconds into the quarter on a feed from Rambo. Just over two minutes later Rambo scored another goal, giving the Terps an eight-goal cushion.
With 9:13 left in the half, Hopkins finally got on the board when Cole Williams scored off an assist from Alex Concannon.
Just before the teams headed into the locker room for halftime, Tim Rotanz scored off a Heacock assist as time expired, giving Maryland a 9-1 advantage.
Both teams scored a pair of goals in the third, with Heacock and Rambo scoring for Maryland, and Kieran Eissler and Forry Smith each netting a goal for the Blue Jays.
Just over a minute into the final period, Heacock scored his third goal of the game off a pass from Rotanz (one goal, one assist), giving Maryland a 12-3 lead. Before the game ended, Hopkins scored two more goals, including one by John Crawley with six seconds remaining in the game.
Maryland’s defense did its part to support the high octane Terps offense, forcing nine turnovers, including five in the fourth quarter. The suffocating defense by the Terps didn’t allow Johns Hopkins to convert on either of their two extra man opportunities. Maryland goalie Dan Morris led the way with nine saves.
Despite the strong showing, coach John Tillman said there was still some room for improvement.
“We’re minus six in the faceoffs… obviously we kind of buffer that with 12 extra ground balls somewhere else, but we just have to keep working on it,” Tillman said. “We’re not going to go where we’d like to go if we can’t improve that.”