PISCATAWAY, NJ – The 15th-ranked Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse team outscored fourth-ranked Maryland 10-1 in the second half as the Blue Jays rallied past the Terrapins for a 12-7 victory in the Big Ten Men's Lacrosse Semifinals at Rutgers Thursday night. The win sends the Blue Jays to the Big Ten Championship game for the second consecutive year and the third time since the league was formed in 2015.
The Blue Jays (8-6) will play top-ranked Penn State in the championship game. The Nittany Lions topped Rutgers, 18-6, in the other semifinal.
The Terps (11-4) led 6-2 at the half and carried that lead into the middle of third quarter before senior Kyle Marr jump-started the game-ending 10-1 run off a quick feed from freshman Joey Epstein. By the time the third quarter ended, the Blue Jays had scored four more times to grab their first lead of the game at 7-6. Brett Baskin, Cole Williams, Forry Smith and Epstein all scored over the final 7:43 with Epstein's extra-man strike with 1:39 left in the period to cap a 5-0 third quarter.
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Maryland halted the run just 42 seconds into the final period when Jared Bernhardt came from behind the goal and scored his third of the game. As it turned out, that would be the only goal for Maryland in the final 39 minutes of the game.
Senior Alex Concannon answered Bernhardt's goal just 54 seconds later as Epstein rifled a skip pass to the backside and Concannon went low-to-low to give Johns Hopkins the lead for good. Williams bookended his second and third goals of the game around late strikes from Smith and Epstein.
Epstein and Williams both punched up three goals and two assists for the Blue Jays, who also got two goals and one assist from Concannon and two goals from Smith. Senior Pat Foley scooped up a career-high eight ground balls and had one caused turnover. The Blue Jays forced eight of Maryland's 18 turnovers in the game.
The feed 😵 pic.twitter.com/gWDcV28Jio— JHU Men's Lacrosse (@jhumenslacrosse) May 3, 2019
Bernhardt's three goals and one assist paced the Terrapins, who also got 15 saves from Danny Dolan and a 14-of-23 effort on faceoffs from Justin Shockey.
- Epstein's three goals boost his season total to 38, which breaks the Johns Hopkins record for goals by a freshman. The previous record of 37 was set by Terry Riordan in 1992.
- The Blue Jays improved to 5-2 all-time in the Big Ten Tournament and have scored 12 or more goals in six of the seven games.
- The seven goals allowed are the second-fewest the Blue Jays have allowed this season.