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Michigan lacrosse falls to No. 5 Maryland 8-7 in closing seconds

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An impressive Wolverines performance just wasn't enough against Maryland.

University of Michigan Photo Services

I did not see that coming. The loss was pretty much a given before the opening faceoff, but I'm not sure anyone really predicted that Michigan (3-6, 0-1) would be in a position to win/tie the game right up until the very end. It really was an impressive performance.

With Kyle Jackson and Ian King sitting out with injuries, head coach John Paul put some freshmen right into the spotlight: Decker Curran, MJ Melillo, Brandon Shima, and Rocco Sutherland saw action all day long.

Maryland's Matt Rambo put the Terps (7-2, 1-0) on the board first at 11:25 in the first quarter, but Peter Kraus, Mike Hernandez, and Sean McCanna gave Michigan the 3-1 lead on the No. 5 team before the end of the first frame. Maryland tied the game at 3-3 in the second quarter, but it was Michigan that would head into halftime with a 4-3 lead.

Although things were looking up for Michigan, the Terrapins scored three unanswered goals in the first four and a half minutes of the second half, putting Michigan in a two-score deficit. The Wolverines would not give up and go out quietly, however.

Peter Kraus' third goal on the day drew the Wolverines even at 6-6 with 10:58 to go in the game, and after Maryland went up 7-6, Sean McCanna brought Michigan even once again.

The Wolverines were playing well defensively, causing 11 turnovers and seeing some great doorstep stops by Gerald Logan, while Brad Lott was completely dominating the faceoff X, going 9-13 through the first three quarters. But...you could feel the heartbreak coming.

All in all Michigan played the best game they possibly could against the No. 5 team in the country, but once the weather took a turn for the worse, so too did Michigan's fate. After Lott's domination in three quarters, he went 1-4 in quarter four, finishing the day at 9-18. A costly Wolverine turnover allowed Maryland to score with just 43 seconds to go, and Michigan failed to capitalize on their final possession of the game. Michigan out shot Maryland 41-20, picked up more GBs (32-20), had fewer turnovers (11 to Maryland's 17), and caused more turnovers (11-3), but they seemed to get rattled by the moment and just couldn't get the game into an extra session.

Although Maryland may have issues of their own when it comes to keeping their opponents in the game, we shouldn't take anything away from how Michigan's underclassmen performed. It was a solid effort by guys who just haven't seen a whole lot of D-1 lacrosse yet, and that should give Michigan fans a glimmer of hope for the remainder of the season.

Up next for Michigan will be a trip to New Jersey on Sunday to face a Rutgers team that just beat perennial power Johns Hopkins. Stay tuned to MnB for a preview of that match-up.