The Towson men's lacrosse team was just 3.7 seconds away from celebrating a milestone win against in-state rival Maryland in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
A slight hesitancy on defense opened the door for Terrapins junior attackman Jared Bernhardt to find enough space for the game-tying goal.
The Tigers (11-5) never recovered from the letdown. Maryland senior attackman Louis Dubick put the game away, scoring a goal with 2:21 remaining in overtime for a 14-13 win at Johnny Unitas Stadium.
The Terrapins (12-4) advanced to the quarterfinals against former ACC foe and No. 3 seed Virginia in Hempstead, N.Y., May 18.
"This game, this win, allows us to stay together for another week," Terrapins coach John Tillman told the media after the game.
The game will haunt the sixth-seeded Tigers this offseason. While Towson was favored as the No. 6 seed, the Terrapins carry a swagger and mystique that can be intimidating to opponents.
The Tigers did not back down and controlled the run of play for much of the game before falling short at the end. While the loss stings, head coach Shawn Nadelen has a talented group of players poised to make a title run in 2020.
Following the game, Nadelen's thoughts focused on the players who won't have another opportunity at the college level.
"These are the ones that hurt the most," Nadelen said. "I'm proud of our team, proud of our senior class. Obviously, it was a heck of a game with both teams making plays. It was like a boxing match with both teams exchanging blows."
The Terrapins will face another tough test against Virginia, which rolled past Robert Morris, 19-10, in the first round. Maryland holds a 47-44 all-time edge against the Cavaliers (14-3). The teams have not played since 2014.
Loyola To Face Off Against No. 1 Penn State in Quarterfinals
Loyola senior attackman Pat Spencer is not concerned about records or his place in history. There will be plenty of time to reflect on those individual achievements after the season.
Instead, Spencer is simply focused on a national championship.
Spencer helped the eighth-seeded Greyhounds (12-4) continue their run in the NCAA Tournament with a 15-13 win against Syracuse (9-5).
The Boys' Latin alum had three goals and six assists to fuel a spirited comeback.
He set the NCAA career record for assists (226) and also moved into second-place for career points (369).
"We've got a really close group of seniors, and life moves on after this," Spencer said moments after beating the Orange. "We won't get to see each other as much. We're with each other all the time, and the talk of the week was seven more days. We wanted seven more days together."
The Greyhounds will need to quickly regroup for their matchup against the top-ranked Nittany Lions in East Hartford, Conn., May 19. Penn State (15-1) overwhelmed UMBC, 25-10, in the first round and is riding a 12-game winning streak.
The game between Loyola and the Nittany Lions could turn into a shootout, but Greyhounds head coach Charley Toomey won't deviate too far from his traditional game plan.
"Get the ball to Pat, and then let's figure out what we need to do in that moment," he said.
Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox