Daniel Maltz received a pass from Logan Wisnauskas with just five seconds showing on the clock at Capital One Field. Maltz turned away from his defender and launched a no-look, backhand shot past Rutgers goalie Colin Kirst.
The goal tied the game at nine, and it prevented Maryland men’s lacrosse from trailing at halftime for the first time this season.
The last-second stunner from Maltz set coach John Tillman’s squad up for a dominant second half in which it outscored the fourth-ranked Scarlet Knights 10-3. Nonstop second half scoring pushed the Terps to a 19-12 victory and a 4-0 start in Big Ten play.
In the first quarter, Maryland’s offense ran through Jared Bernhardt. Maltz got on the scoreboard first, but it was Bernhardt who took over shortly thereafter. The fifth-year senior netted three straight goals in just 4:16 to give the Terps a 4-1 advantage.
Bernhardt showed off the variety of ways he can do damage. His first goal was an unassisted wraparound on the near-side of the net, and his second was a 12-yard strike off a Bubba Fairman feed.
Midfielder Kyle Long added his fifth goal of the season, and Maryland took a 5-3 lead into the second quarter.
Rutgers upped the ante in the second quarter, scoring three in a row to take the lead away from Tillman’s squad. Both teams traded goals for the rest of the second quarter, and the game was tied five separate times in the final ten minutes of the half.
The back-and-forth affair culminated with Maltz’s impressive backhand goal, his second of four goals Saturday. The game was knotted at nine entering the halftime break.
Maltz added his third a little over three minutes into the second half, snagging a Bernhardt dish before slotting past Kirst. The goals proved much less plentiful in the third, however. Long found the net toward the end of the quarter, sandwiching a Ross Scott equalizer for the Scarlet Knights.
Maryland made up for its lack of offense in the third quarter by recording eight goals in the final fifteen minutes. Bernhardt kicked off the lopsided fourth quarter with another unassisted goal, giving the Terps their first two-score lead since they led 5-3.
The game was blown open thanks to a stretch of six-straight goals from six different Terps in the final frame. Fittingly, Bernhardt closed out the scoring with a ten-yard strike for his sixth of the game – a new career-high.
After a shaky first half, goalie Logan McNaney and the Maryland defense also shined in the second, allowing just three goals and continuing to shut out Rutgers’ second-leading scorer Connor Kirst.
Tillman’s squad will only have a two-week break from the Scarlet Knights, as the two sides will square off in Piscataway on March 28.