Maryland men’s lacrosse netted 11 goals in the second half of its match against Johns Hopkins on Saturday — and midfielder Logan Wisnauskas assisted on six of them.
Playing in front of his family for the first time this year, Wisnauskas put his offensive versatility on full display. The senior tallied nine points on seven assists, which left the Blue Jays without an answer to Maryland’s attack.
Wisnauskas, once a sharp shooter, has more assists than goals in the first three games of this season, marking his evolution to all-around playmaker for the Terps.
“If you leave him alone, he can hammer the ball. If you’re a little late, he can find the open man,” coach John Tillman said. “He’s a consistent guy that every day when you go out to practice, you know what you’re getting.”
The senior’s selflessness was exemplified on a play that led to attackman Griffin Brown’s second goal as a Terp. Wisnauskas received a pass from Brown, took two steps toward the cage to draw defenders, then sent it back to Brown who secured the goal for Maryland.
Though Wisnauskas could have shot it himself, he instead found the open man near the net to finish the job.
The journey to becoming Tillman’s go-to offense player has been a long time coming for Wisnauskas. After transferring from Syracuse in 2017, he started all 18 games in his redshirt freshman season, compiling 50 points with just 15 assists.
Wisnauskas stepped up his training regimen in preparation for 2019, and it paid dividends. The then-sophomore posted 44 goals and 35 assists.
The progress he made rounding out his game two years ago seems to be culminating in the 2021 season.
“I think everyone’s realizing how awesome he is,” defenseman Nick Grill said, “and how big of a pain it is in practice to go up against him.”
Along with junior defenseman Brett Makar, Grill is the leader of a defense that has allowed under nine goals per game this season. It’s also the unit that defends Wisnauskas outside of game situations.
The Terps credit most of their success during games to work done in practice, Wisnauskas said. Just as Grill believes practicing against weapons like Wisnauskas improves the defense, Wisnauskas thinks Maryland’s defense has made him a better passer.
“I get more experience going against guys like Grill and Makar in practice every day,” Wisnauskas said. “I’m getting more comfortable with my stick, which really helps.”
Wisnauskas’ seven assists on Saturday were a career high and the second-most in a single game in Maryland history. The last player to reach the seven-assist mark was Connor Kelly in 2018.
Many of Wisnauskas’ passes were aimed at his four-year teammate Jared Bernhardt, who tied a career high with five goals in the Hopkins game.
The world will likely see more of that connection between Wisnauskas and Bernhardt this season. For now, the Terps are happy to have a veteran leader who makes sharing the ball contagious.
“When your best players share the ball like that, then everybody shares it,” Tillman said. “We’re lucky to have an older guy like that who sets such a good example.”