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Maryland Lacrosse's Loss To Penn State Represents Big Ten Power Shift

April 3, 2019
The balance of power has shifted in the Big Ten.

Top-ranked Penn State sent a message to the rest of the league with a dominant performance against No. 3 Maryland. 

The Nittany Lions snapped a 36-game losing streak to the Terrapins with a 13-10 victory in College Park, Md., March 31. 

"We're very proud of our legacy at Penn State, and I know these guys really wanted to win it bad for us, but they really wanted to it bad for the history of Penn State," Nittany Lions coach Jeff Tambroni said after the game.

Maryland (8-2) and Johns Hopkins (5-4) are the only teams to win either the regular season and/or tournament championship since entering the Big Ten in 2015. The Blue Jays were the preseason favorite to win this year's title, followed by Maryland, Penn State, Ohio State, Rutgers and Michigan. 

So far, the Nittany Lions (8-1) have been the most impressive team, underscored by the win against the Terps. Penn State opened an 8-1 lead in the first quarter and never trailed. 

Gerard Arceri, a 2019 Tewaaraton nominee, helped set the tone for the Nittany Lions by winning 18 of 26 faceoffs. 

"They really come at you hard, and that's a credit to them," Terrapins coach John Tillman said after the game. "When the whistle blows, that team is ready to roll."

Maryland eventually recovered and cut the margin to 8-7 on a goal by sophomore Roman Puglise with 8:27 left in the third quarter. However, the Nittany Lions scored three consecutive times to put the game away. 

"Tough to dig out of an 8-1 hole early, but the guys stayed with it," Tillman said. "We kept chipping away, chipping away, chipping away, got that game [to] a one-goal game with plenty of time left. And then they did a good job of countering that."

Despite the loss, the Terrapins did not lose any ground in the Division I Media Poll. They will look to bounce back this week against struggling Michigan (3-6).

Meanwhile, Penn State got a further boost of confidence heading into the final stretch of the season and will likely be the team to beat in the Big Ten tournament. In addition to Maryland, Ohio State (7-1) and Rutgers (6-4) are also capable of making a run at that title.

Johns Hopkins (5-4) faces a critical game against the Scarlet Knights this weekend. 

Loyola Making Impressive Run

Loyola has once again surged toward the top of the of the rankings on the heels of a three-game winning streak.

The No. 2 Greyhounds (7-2) put on a clinic in a 21-7 victory against Colgate March 30. 

Sophomore Kevin Lindley and senior Pat Spencer (Boys' Latin) became the first NCAA Division I teammates to each have 10 points in a game since the NCAA started tracking that stat in 2010. Lindley tied a career-high with eight goals, one shy of the school record set in 1986 by John Carroll. Spencer, the program's all-time points leader, had two goals and eight assists.

Loyola was ranked No. 1 before falling to Towson, 12-10, Feb. 27. The Greyhounds then suffered a 12-7 setback to then-No. 5 Duke two weeks later.

However, head coach Charley Toomey has found a way to tighten the defense and the Greyhounds have allowed just 6.3 goal per game in victories against Navy, Bucknell and Colgate.

Loyola improved to 4-0 in the Patriot League and can take over full possession of first place with a victory win over No. 15 Lehigh (7-3 overall, 5-0 conference) April 6.  

Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox