A scramble near midfield led to a loose ball that was scooped up by Maryland men’s lacrosse midfielder Logan Wisnauskas. Wisnauskas looked upfield, and he knew exactly where to go with it: three time All-American Jared Bernhardt.
Bernhardt received the pass about ten feet outside the crease and went over the top for a goal that gave him 200 points in his Maryland career, making him the sixth Terp to accomplish the feat.
The historic goal was part of an offensive surge for coach John Tillman’s squad in the second half, which powered No. 4 Maryland past No. 13 Penn State, 13-7.
“Jared’s always had a growth mindset,” Tillman said. “He’s always trying to get better. I thought he did a little bit of everything today, and he’s got a very complete game. He can play with the ball, he can play without the ball.”
Maryland had wanted to start hot in Happy Valley, but it was Penn State on the board first Friday night. Midfielder Dan Reaume moved to his left and sent it past goalie Logan McNaney, just one minute after the Terps successfully killed a minute-long penalty.
But the Nittany Lions’ lead was short-lived, as midfielder Kyle Long was the first to score once again for Maryland. Wisnauskas followed with two straight goals, his fourth and fifth of the young season, and the Terps led 3-1.
Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week Nick Grill and the Maryland defense forced an 11-plus-minute Penn State scoring drought, until the Nittany Lions’ Nate Buller scored on a behind-the-back shot with seven seconds left in the first quarter.
Penn State would briefly retake the lead early in the second frame on a goal from attacker Mac O’Keefe. But the Terps’ offense surged to end the first half. Bernhardt and Bubba Fairman found the back of the net, and Maryland entered the locker room leading 5-4.
Face offs were a glaring struggle for Tillman’s squad in the first half. Justin Shockey started the game 0-for-6 on the dot, prompting Tillman to call on sophomore Conor Calderone to handle face off duty.
Calderone was a slight improvement over Shockey, going 7-for-17 the rest of the way, but the Nittany Lions still had plenty of opportunities off goals and timeouts.
“If we don’t get that fixed, that could be problematic,” Tillman said. “I know the guys will put the time in, but we can’t rely on that type of performance and expect to win a lot of games.”
But the face off woes didn’t hinder the Terps’ offense in the second half, as sophomore Daniel Maltz continued his hot streak with two quick goals out of the break, both assisted by Long.
Maltz’s goals were followed by two from Bernhardt, which gave Maryland its first five-goal lead of the night.
“I thought the guys finally got going and the third quarter was huge for us,” Tillman said. “We got into a little bit of a rhythm and started spinning the ball a little bit more, which was great.”
Penn State crawled back within three goals early in the fourth quarter, but any hopes of a comeback were halted by a 4-0 run from the Terps across just 1:48. The run featured another two goals from Maltz, who now leads Maryland with nine goals on the year.
The Nittany Lions added a garbage time goal to leave the final score at 13-7, giving Maryland its fifth-straight 2-0 start.
“The kids kind of stayed with it,” Tillman said. “We were able to establish a little bit of momentum there in that third quarter, and I thought that kind of allowed our guys to play.”