BALTIMORE, Md. – The Maryland men’s lacrosse team defeated Rutgers, 14-8, to claim the Big Ten Conference Tournament title Saturday night at Homewood Field. The championship marked Maryland’s fifth conference tournament title in history, and third regular season and conference tournament sweep.
With the win, Maryland (14-2) earned the Big Ten Conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, marking the Terps’ NCAA-best 14th straight NCAA Tournament appearance.
Junior Matt Rambo, who finished with 11 points (6G, 5A) in the tournament, was named Big Ten Tournament MVP. Joining Rambo on the Big Ten All-Tournament team were seniors Kyle Bernlohr and Bryan Cole and sophomore Connor Kelly.
The victory marked Maryland’s 13th consecutive win, setting a program record for consecutive wins in a single-season.
Rambo matched his career-high with six points (3G, 3A) in the victory, while Kelly added four goals for the second straight game. Dylan Maltz had a hat trick and Cole posted two goals and two assists. Bernlohr made 12 saves in net, holding the Scarlet Knights nearly five goals below their season average.
The Terps and Scarlet Knights traded blows in the early goings of the game, as Kelly and Cole’s goals were matched by a pair of Rutgers tallies.
Maryland opened its first big lead of the game when Kelly scored an extra-man goal and Rambo added a pair of his own to give the Terps a 5-2 advantage. Rambo’s first tally was his 100th career goal, becoming the 13th Maryland player in history to reach the milestone.
Rambo’s second tally was one for the books, as he scooped a loose ground ball and beat the Rutgers goaltender from seemingly no angle as time expired in the first quarter.
A Pat Young goal was sandwiched between a pair of Rutgers strikes at the start of the second, before Maryland closed the half by scoring four of the next five goals. Maltz had two of the goals in the stretch, while Cole and Kelly also found paydirt.
The third quarter was much of the same for the Terps, who outscored Rutgers, 4-2, in the frame to extend their lead to 13-7. Kelly scored his third and fourth of the game in the quarter, while Maltz and Rambo each added goals.
Maryland took advantage of its large advantage in the fourth quarter to close out the game. The Terps’ leading scorer, Colin Heacock, bagged the lone Terp goal in the frame. Heacock has scored a goal in 13 straight games.