Maryland men's lacrosse coach John Tillman admitted his team didn't even look prepared in the opening quarter against Duke in the NCAA semfinals.
The Blue Devils (16-3) reeled off the game's opening six goals before the Terrapins could effectively set their offense.
Maryland made a run of its own, but the early deficit proved to be insurmountable as Duke came away with a 13-8 victory in Foxborough, Mass., May 26.
The Blue Devils will play for their fourth national championship in program history May 28 against Yale, which ran past Albany, 20-11, in the other semifinal. Maryland ended its season 14-4, falling short of defending its title.
Redshirt freshman midfielder Logan Wisnauskas (Boys' Latin) led the Terrapins with two goals and an assist. Senior midfielder Connor Kelly, a Tewaaraton Award finalist, dealt with tight marking throughout the game and finished with a goal and three assists.
Freshman midfielder Nakeie Montgomery scored all three of his goals in the opening half for Duke.
Maryland struggled against the Blue Devils' man-to-man defense and were held scoreless in the first quarter. The Terrapins were finally able to slow the pace of the game down and pulled to within a manageable 8-5 at the half.
A goal by freshman midfielder Bubba Fairman capped a 7-2 run, and the Terrapins trailed just 8-7 with 8:05 left in the third quarter. However, the Blue Devils responded with four consecutive goals to put the game away.
The Terrapins lacked the depth of last year's national championship team. As a result, they were not built to effectively play from behind. The Blue Devils came out with a sense of urgency and set the tone by rolling out to an early lead they never relinquished.
Once Maryland settled down, the teams played about even before Duke went on the late run. The Terrapins appeared to have a harder time dealing with temperatures that hovered in the low 90s.
Maryland will be able to reload next season and push for another title despite the graduation of Kelly. The Terrapins will have one of the most potent attacks in the nation with Wisnauskas and sophomore attackman Jared Bernhardt back in the lineup.
Nonetheless, a loss to a former ACC rival will sting for much of the offseason.
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