EAST HARTFORD, Conn. — It was a national title game up for grabs in the final seconds. A face-off win, a sprint to the goal and then heartbreak for the University of Maryland men's lacrosse team.
The Terps’ only loss of the year came by only one goal, 17-16, to Virginia in Monday's NCAA Tournament championship game. Luke Wierman’s potential game-tying shot couldn’t find the back of the net with 6 seconds left.
"Stuff happens, you know. He’s in that situation, he shoots, goalie makes a good save. It’s not his fault at all," said Terps attackman Logan Wisnauskas about Wierman's try.
Maryland rallied from down five goals with under 6:13 to go to give themselves a chance.
"Credit to our guys. What a way to fight back," said Terps defenseman Brett Makar. "Just came out a couple plays short."
"Got a great look there at the end. I thought Luke was tremendous in trying to get us back," said Terps head coach John Tillman. "If you’re a Maryland fan today you are disappointed in the ending but you won’t be disappointed with the effort and heart and toughness and character of this group."
On the other side of things that championship-clinching save was made by a Baltimore guy who starred at St. Paul’s School. Timonium native Alex Rode ripped the hearts out of Maryland fans everywhere.
"I had a rough day. It wasn’t my best day in goal. Our defense actually played great. So, [Wierman] took a shot and I was a little nervous. I thought I owed my team a couple and luckily it hit me in the body," said Rode.
And punched Terps fans right in the gut.