Luke Wierman made his way to the faceoff X in search of Maryland men’s lacrosse history. He squatted low and began a fight for the ball with Richmond’s Jared Chenoy.
Wierman flung the ball behind him with a racing Chenoy on his tail. A momentary scrum resulted, with three different Spiders and Terps each searching for possession.
Nick Alviti scooped up the ball and raced into Maryland territory for the faceoff win. Wierman didn’t know it in the moment, but that victory made him the program’s all-time faceoff wins leader.
It took more than just Wierman to secure the program record. A trio of Terps were needed for the faceoff victory — only fitting for the graduate student who credits his teammates and coaches for the milestone as much as himself.
“It’s an honor to be mentioned with the guys on that list,” Wierman said. “I’ve had a lot of help over the past couple years, I’ve been very lucky.”
Wierman was supposed to go elsewhere as a three-star recruit out of high school, but spurned his prior commitment after a coaching change, according to coach John Tillman. He didn’t see game action his freshman season, but split time at the X during his sophomore season. Yet the Pennsylvania native still became the greatest faceoff specialist in program history, a feat he didn’t think would be possible.
Wierman won 17 of 29 faceoffs, many at pivotal moments, in No. 6 Maryland’s double-overtime victory over No. 20 Richmond on Saturday. His record-breaking win allowed the Terps to halt the Spiders’ two-goal third-quarter spurt. He won both sudden death faceoffs, including the latter that allowed Owen Murphy to snipe the game-winning goal.
The second overtime faceoff win came fresh off a Logan McNaney save with the seconds dwindling down in the prior period. The two entered college together and have lived together since freshman year, giving McNaney a firsthand look at Wierman’s growth.
“He obviously works his butt off throughout every year, every practice. It’s paying off well for him,” McNaney said.
Wierman became the Terps’ full-time faceoff specialist his junior season. He broke out to set Maryland single-season records in faceoffs taken and won, claiming All-American and Big Ten Specialist of the Year honors. The Terps secured an undefeated national championship with him at the X.
Wierman backed up 2022 with another All-American season in 2023. He was named to the All-Big Ten first team for the second straight year and climbed further up the program record books.
“Really the last three years, [Wierman is] obviously one of the best guys in the country,” Tillman said. “That’s a credit to his hard work, the coaches that have worked with him … but also the guys he’s going against every day.”
Tillman said Wierman needed to learn a lot his freshman year. That hard work, consistency and desire to be coached has guided Wierman throughout his collegiate journey.
Andy Claxton previously held the faceoff wins record for three decades. Wierman has a chance to break another Claxton record later this season — his career ground ball mark. Wierman entered this season 112 ground balls shy of tying the record and collected 10 on Saturday. He secured over 130 ground balls each of the past two years.
Wierman’s final season with the Terps started with a record-breaking performance. He has a chance to make more history before his time in College Park is over.
“I’m very fortunate for sure,” Wierman said. “The people at Maryland are amazing.”