Albany men’s lacrosse midfielder Connor Fields threw his hands in the air with 76 seconds remaining in the Great Danes’ 11-10 win against No. 2 Maryland in College Park on Saturday.
Defenseman Curtis Corley held Albany’s second-leading scorer to three goals entering the game’s final minute, but Fields didn’t hesitate late. Most of the 7,475 people at Maryland Stadium fell silent as he found the net for the eventual game-winner.
Saturday’s meeting between the two programs ended differently than the previous two, neither as a Maryland blowout nor a close Maryland win. Instead, the Terps constructed a five-goal lead just to see its offense become dormant in the fourth quarter, as Albany’s attack surged.
Fields proved to be the difference, giving Albany its first lead of the afternoon late in the fourth. It was coach John Tillman’s first loss to a No. 1 team at Maryland in five matchups and represented the Terps’ biggest defensive meltdown this season.
“I need to do a better job helping our guys get prepared,” Tillman said. “Losses are always on the coaches. …It was a one goal game and could have gone either way. It makes it a lot harder knowing we were up 8-3.”
The defeat was Maryland’s first since April 22, 2017, when it fell to Ohio State.
The Great Danes opened the fourth quarter on a 4-0 run to force the 10-10 deadlock, led by two scores from attackman Jakob Patterson, who matched Fields with four goals. Albany coach Scott Barr said the Great Danes changed their pace in the game’s final minutes.
Maryland didn’t have a response, failing to score since midfielder Tim Rotanz found the net with seven seconds remaining in the third quarter. The scoring drought represented the Terps’ longest of the season, and led to it trailing for just the third time this season.
Before Albany’s late offensive burst, the Terps controlled the tempo. Led by midfielder Logan Wisnauskas and attackman Jared Bernhardt, the Terps scored three of the game’s first four goals, boasted a 6-3 lead at intermission, and had the shot and faceoff advantage in the first half.
“We really struggled for a better part of the game, the first half especially,” Barr said. “To go 5-0 in the fourth quarter against what I think is the best team in country, you have to hand it to the boys in the locker room.”
Maryland’s attack added to its lead in the third. Minutes into the second half, Wisnauskas and midfielder Bubba Fairman scored consecutive times to give Maryland an 8-3 lead. But then, the Great Danes responded with a 3-0 run, beginning their comeback.
The Terps didn’t win any of the six faceoffs in the final quarter, and the Great Danes capitalized on their chances. Midfielder Connor Kelly, who led the Terps with five points, said Maryland wasn’t organized offensively in the fourth.
“It was a battle all day,” Kelly said. “I take full responsibility on the offensive end. I need to be more vocal.”
Maryland’s attack had little time to respond to Fields’ game-winner, but the previous 13:44 of the fourth quarter gave little indication it would’ve been able to do so.
Fields and Patterson finished with four goals apiece as the Great Danes completed the comeback in the first No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup in College Park since 1987. In doing so, they avenged their previous two losses, snapped Maryland’s nation-leading 12-game winning streak and solidified their spot as the top team in the county.
“There were some [defensive] breakdowns,” goalie Dan Morris said. “We didn’t do a good enough job communicating and we didn’t execute to our standard.”