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No. 5 men's lacrosse falls to eventual champions No. 1 Maryland in NCAA semifinal

<h5>The Tigers had defeated Yale in the quarterfinal to advance to the Maryland matchup.</h5>
<h6>Photo <a href="https://goprincetontigers.com/news/2022/6/1/mens-lacrosse-pace-billings-named-to-final-four-all-tournament-team-and-other-mens-lax-notes.aspx" target="_self">courtesy</a> of Nick Ierardi/GoPrincetonTigers.</h6>
The Tigers had defeated Yale in the quarterfinal to advance to the Maryland matchup.
Photo courtesy of Nick Ierardi/GoPrincetonTigers.

The men’s lacrosse team (11–5, 3–3 Ivy League) fell 13–8 to the undefeated Maryland Terrapins (18–0, 5–0 Big 10) in the NCAA Tournament semifinal held at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn. on May 28.

This was not the Tigers’ only loss against the Terps this season — they also suffered a 10–15 loss in College Park, Md. this February.

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Things got off to a slow start when severe thunderstorms in New England meant that the game — originally slated for a 2:30 p.m. start — didn’t get underway until 6:27 p.m. 

Attacker Kheegan Khan scored early for Maryland, but Tigers senior midfielder Luke Crimmins responded just over a minute later to even the score. The Terrapins managed to pull ahead in the first period, leading 5–1 after the first 15 minutes of play. 

Less than a minute into the second period, Princeton junior attacker Christian Ronda scored to bring the deficit down to three for the Tigers, but was almost immediately answered by Terrapins attacker Logan Wisnauskas.

Princeton caught a stroke of luck when officials gave Maryland long stick midfielder John Geppert a three-minute non-releasable penalty close to the end of the half, and the Tigers capitalized on the opportunity, scoring less than a minute after Geppert’s entry into the substitution box. 

But after halftime the tides took a stronger turn against the Tigers, who went scoreless for the first 10 minutes of the third period while Maryland scored four times, putting the tally at 11–6 heading into the final 15 minutes of the game.

The Tigers held the Terrapins to a scoring drought for almost 11 minutes into the fourth period. Playing until the last moment, Princeton scored again with less than a minute in the game to make the final score 13–8. 

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The Tigers did not fall without a fight, losing the ball less than Maryland — with the Tigers’ 15 turnovers to the Terrapins’ 17 — and nearly equaling them in ground ball pickups with 34, just four less than Maryland’s 38. 

Princeton may have played hard, but a set of standout performances by the Terrapins held the Tigers back. Wisnauskas scored four goals during the game, finishing the semifinal with 203 career goals, and giving him the record for most career goals in the program; goalie Logan McNaney had a career-high 19 saves in the net.

The Terrapins went on to defeat the Cornell Big Red (14–5, 4–2 Ivy League) by a score of 9–7 to win the NCAA Championship on May 30, becoming the first undefeated team to take the title since the University of Virginia in 2006. 

Hope Perry is the Head Podcast Editor at the ‘Prince’ who has covered USG, US politics, and student activism. She can be reached at hperry@princeton.edu or on Twitter @hopemperry.

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