The No. 20 Michigan men’s lacrosse team was unable to make up ground after a slow start, falling to No. 9 Maryland by a final score of 15-8 in its Big Ten opener.
The Wolverines came into the matchup confident that they could go goal-for-goal with the Terrapins, as Saturday’s game pitted two of the best offenses in the country against each other. After enjoying its best start in program history, Michigan (0-1 Big Ten, 8-2 overall) saw a competitive game as a test of how the young program’s talent would stack up against a traditionally dominant Big Ten opponent like Maryland.
Sophomore attackmen Rocco Sutherland and Brent Noseworthy, who are each having impressive offensive seasons, proved that mindset by each netting one goal to even the score at two after the Wolverines fell behind early in the first quarter.
However, after a run of five straight goals from the Terrapins, Michigan saw itself trying to claw its way back into the game as early as the second quarter. While impressive goals from seniors Ian King and Mickie Schlosser gave the Wolverines momentum coming out of the third quarter, the Terrapins’ fourth-ranked defense in the conference limited Michigan’s offensive possession.
Despite two more goals and a hat trick for Noseworthy, who leads the Big Ten and is ranked third in the country in shooting percentage at 54 percent, the Wolverines were unable to catch up to the Terrapins in the end.
While the outcome is not the result Michigan had hoped for, the players and coaches took away their performance as an opportunity to grow moving forward, as the Wolverines will take on No. 10 Rutgers at home next Saturday.
With the final four-game stretch of the season pitting Michigan against four ranked opponents, including No. 2 Penn State and No. 5 Ohio State, the young program still has plenty of opportunities to continue building on its historic season.
While the Wolverines face a tough schedule to close out the year, both their players and coaches view the coming weeks as a chance to make some more noise in the Big Ten.