Maryland men’s lacrosse midfielder Logan Wisnauskas clenched both of his fists and ran to meet defenseman Bryce Young for a high-five in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s contest against No. 15 Penn State.
Young had just found Wisnauskas open on the right-side of the circle with about seven minutes remaining, giving the Syracuse transfer an easy look for his second goal in less than a minute.
In a span of 28 seconds, Wisnauskas took control of a game in which Maryland trailed for longer that it had all season. His three goals and midfielder Connor Kelly’s six helped Maryland top Penn State, 13-12, to remain unbeaten in conference play.
The win pushed Maryland to 6-0 against the Nittany Lions since 2015 and will likely result in a boost in the rankings. The Terps could jump to No. 1 after top-ranked Albany fell to UMBC on Friday.
“Earlier on, they were playing faster than us, and we were a step behind,” coach John Tillman said. “Luckily our guys kind of stepped in and caught their breath and kept fighting.”
For the second straight week, Maryland dominated the fourth quarter. On Sunday, it came against a Nittany Lions team that Tillman said was among the most complete the Terps have seen this season.
Finishing with a flourish marked a breakthrough for the Terps, whose late struggles cost them their lone loss of the season against the Great Danes. Led by Wisnauskas and Kelly, the Terps outscored Penn State, 4-3, in the final frame.
After entering the intermission trailing by a goal, midfielder Will Snider opened the second half by driving past two defenders to tie the game at six. Snider’s second goal of the quarter, which came with 44 seconds left in the third quarter, gave the Terps their first lead of the game.
But the advantage didn’t last. Penn State midfielder Robby Black beat the buzzer to force a tie game entering the fourth.
Maryland capitalized on the possessions it had after winning just nine of 28 faceoffs. The Nittany Lions also boasted a 36-29 shooting advantage.
Wisnauskas then set the tone down the stretch, rallying the Terps from their first halftime deficit of the season with his clutch hat trick. Maryland has now won four straight contests and appears destined to regain the nation’s top ranking.
“We go through the whole season talking about dealing with adversity, and we dealt with that great tonight,” Kelly said. “Helping us out on the defensive end was awesome, but credit to Penn State. We thought they were going to be the best team we played all season and they were just that tonight.”