After allowing just three goals in the first three quarters of its opening game against Michigan, Maryland men’s lacrosse goalie Logan McNaney let up six in the final quarter. After the game, coach John Tillman teased McNaney, reminding him to play the full 60 minutes next time.
And McNaney took the advice sincerely. Making just his fourth career start Friday night against Penn State, the sophomore made a career-best 16 saves, helping the Terps coast to a 13-7 win.
“Logan played arguably his best game,” Tillman said. “He knows how good Penn State is. He knew we really need him to play well … if we don’t get Logan’s play, it really kills us.”
McNaney’s impressive performance against the Nittany Lions was a welcome sight for a program that’s seen inconsistency in the net since the start of last season.
Listed at 5-foot-8 and 170 pounds, McNaney was a highly touted recruit out of high school and was crowned MVP of the Under Armour All-American game in 2019. But when he came to Maryland, he was set to redshirt his freshman season behind then-sophomore Chris Brandau.
Then, Tillman gave McNaney the starting nod in the final two games of last season — a role he’s carried over into the first two games this year. McNaney has 22 saves in the young season, and he saved shots at a rate of nearly 70 percent on Friday.
The defense successfully kept the ball away from McNaney for much of the night, too, going 24-28 on clears. Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week Nick Grill led the effort by picking up a team-high six groundballs.
After holding Penn State to just seven goals, the team gave credit to not only McNaney but the entire defense.
“You look at seven goals against a team like Penn State, who’s a team that scores a lot of goals — hats off to the defensive guys,” Tillman said. “[Penn State coach Jesse] Bernhardt did a great job preparing for them, but also I thought the guys played very well together.”
In his first couple of years in College Park, McNaney has been known to take extra shots from attackmen Jared Bernhardt and Logan Wisnauskas after practice. Going up against some of the country’s best goal-scorers during the week looked like it paid off in the Terps’ second win of the year.
McNaney’s preparation for his big night started immediately after Tillman’s comments following his performance against Michigan. Tillman noticed the goalie’s increased focus all week in practice before the squad went on the road to Pennsylvania.
And aside from his recent in-game achievements, McNaney’s coaches believe he has the qualities needed to be Maryland’s goalie of the future.
“I felt like he was pretty locked in all week,” Tillman said. “He’s awesome to work with, he’s a competitive guy, he takes everything in stride.”