(Photo Courtesy of Virginia Athletics)
The national title is staying in Charlottesville as Virginia Cavaliers took down the Maryland Terrapins 17-16 in an absolute thriller to become the first team to repeat as champions since Duke in 2013 and 2014.
In a contest that exemplified the age-old adage, “lacrosse is a game of runs” Virginia had to hold off a late-game run from the Terrapins to secure their second straight national title and seventh NCAA title in program history.
Things were all knotted up at 11 with 9:11 in the third, but things would quickly change and sway in the direction of Virginia as the Cavaliers rattled off five straight from the 8:03 mark in the third through the 11:04 mark in the fourth to take the largest lead of the game (16-11). Maryland answered with a four-goal run that began with a Logan Wisnauskas snipe and ended with an Anthony DeMaio score to cut the Virginia lead down to 16-15.
On the ensuing faceoff that followed DeMaio’s goal, Virginia grabbed possession and quickly found the back of the net courtesy of Matt Moore. However, the battle wasn’t over just yet.
With 10.8 seconds left in regulation, DeMaio put in his second of the day with just 10.8 seconds left in regulation to make it a 17-16 game. Luke Wierman won the ensuing faceoff and took it straight down the middle where he was met with Alex Rode for his 12th save of the day to shut down the Maryland effort and secure the win for the Cavaliers.
In addition to Alex Rode’s 12 saves (5 in the fourth quarter), the Cavaliers’ defense caused six of Maryland’s 10 turnovers. Petey LaSalla went 21-for-37 at the faceoff dot.
Connor Shellenberger and Matt Moore each had six points on four goals and two assists to lead the Virginia offense. Jeff Conner also had a hat trick and an assist.
Logan Wisnauskas led Maryland with six points off five goals and an assist. Jared Bernhardt had five points off two goals and three assists. John Geppert led the Maryland defensive effort with four caused turnovers and three ground balls.