Every game this season for No. 2 Maryland men’s lacrosse has seemingly been filled with runs. The lone outing without a four-goal spurt from one side came in the Terps’ 13-12 loss to No. 3 Notre Dame, but even that battle saw a three-goal stretch by both schools.
Maryland scores in bunches — averaging more than three multi-goal runs per game — and has been on the right side of 62.5 percent of four-goal spurts in its games this season.
But against an unranked Michigan squad, the tide surged against Maryland.
Freshman attacker Braden Erksa scored his first of three goals on the day for the Terps at the 11:06 mark of the first quarter. Maryland led 2-1 at that point, but an Isaac Aronson score less than two minutes later tied the game even.
The Terps never retook the lead. The Wolverines won, 16-11, taking down the No. 2 team in the nation and beating Maryland for the first time in school history.
Aronson’s goal was the first of five straight from the Wolverines to close out the opening frame — just the third time Maryland has allowed five unanswered goals this season. Michigan was uber efficient in its offense in the quarter, converting on 54.5 percent of its shots, a mark far above its 34.8 percent average on the season.
“A lot of stuff we pride on, communicating, being on the same page, just got away from that a little bit … let it snowball a little bit,” graduate student defender Brett Makar said.
Maryland fought back in the second quarter, using a pair of two-goal runs — with a Wolverines goal in between — to enter halftime only down one.
But Michigan opened the third quarter with a flurry of goals, three in just more than a minute, to provide a cushion it didn’t relinquish.
Michigan never led by less than two in the second half and used a four-goal run over a three-minute span in the fourth quarter to suck the life out of the Terps. Whatever slim chance Maryland had to avoid being upset was lost after Michigan went up by six.
“We try to stay in the fight, battle through adversity as much as possible, but I think that’s something we need to work on as a group right now,” long stick midfielder John Geppert said. “We’ve seen it happen a few times.”
Given how inefficient the Maryland offense has been — its goals per possession mark is outside the top-35 among all Division I schools — it needs numerous opportunities to get into string together consecutive goals.
John Tillman’s squad found those possessions early in the season as Maryland won 62.9 percent of its face-offs through its first eight games.
But Michigan won 56.7 percent of the face-offs Saturday, including 10 of 15 in a second half that helped it ice the game.
Maryland will need to reset ahead of a difficult stretch to close out the regular season that features three ranked opponents. The Terps have hung with talented squads this year but have also shown lapses in last Saturday’s loss and one to an unranked Loyola team earlier this season.
“We’ll look at the film … get the leadership group together and just kind of talk about where we are,” Tillman said. “We’ve had some good moments and bad moments, and given with some of our inexperience in new parts.”