One flag flew, then a second. Roman Puglise was called for a cross-check, and Brett Makar was called for tripping immediately afterward. The pair of penalties meant Ohio State had a two-man advantage for the next 60 seconds of the third quarter.
But after Puglise and Makar left the field, goalie Logan McNaney made a crucial save to make penalty-killing a much easier task.
However, no one would have predicted what happened next.
In a clear attempt to find Jared Bernhardt, McNaney launched the ball in front of the Ohio State cage, and it trickled in for the sophomore’s first career goal.
The improbable goal was part of a 7-0 run in the second and third quarters that propelled Maryland men’s lacrosse to a 18-8 win and a 9-0 record, its best start to a season since 1987.
Maryland scored the opening goal of the game for the first time in four weeks. Daniel Maltz found Logan Wisnauskas after a successful clear, and the Terps had an early lead.
But, the next two scores went to the Buckeyes. Jackson Reid and Johnny Wiseman found the net within 80 seconds of one another, and Ohio State had its first advantage.
It was Wisnauskas getting involved again, assisting on Jack Koras’ fourth goal of the year, that tied the game at two heading into the second quarter.
The Terps picked up where they left off in the second period. Kyle Long dished to Anthony DeMaio, who fired his signature scoop into the back of the net. Maltz followed with one of his own less than a minute later, and Maryland took a two-goal lead.
Ohio State added one more goal in the half, but that’s all they’d get while the Terps netted four more, three of which came from Bernhardt, the all-time Maryland goals leader.
Freshman Eric Malever assisted on two of his goals, but sandwiched in between was a ridiculous unassisted strike. Bernhardt sprinted behind the net, then jumped and fired over an Ohio State defender for the Terps’ first unassisted goal of the game.
Maltz found the back of the net once more before time expired in the half, and Maryland took an 8-3 lead into the locker room.
The Terps got a huge boost from Luke Wierman at the face off X in the first half. He won nine out of the 13 faceoffs in the first two quarters, a refreshing stat in the one category where they’ve consistently struggled this year.
The Terps continued their scoring streak out of the break, notching the first three goals of the second half. McNaney’s unlikely score started things off, then Maltz and DeMaio added a pair of even strength goals to give Maryland an eight-goal lead.
Maryland coasted the rest of the way, with the usual suspects finding the back of the net. Bernhardt scored three more times and finished with six goals, tying his career high for the second time this year.
Then, some new faces joined the party. Malever cashed in his fourth goal of the season all on his own, and Jack Sawyer and Eric Holden each notched their first goals of 2021 to wrap-up Maryland’s ninth straight win and the Big Ten regular season title.