Maryland men’s lacrosse one win from undefeated championship season

Terps lacrosse one win from undefeated championship season originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Maryland men’s lacrosse team is one victory away from joining an exclusive, unbeaten club. 

The top-seeded Terps defeated No. 5 Princeton 13-8 in the semifinals Saturday to move within one win of completing an undefeated championship season. Maryland improved to 17-0 with the win, advancing to play No. 7 Cornell in the national championship on Monday. 

Maryland, featuring 12 All-Americans, is seeking to become the first men’s lacrosse team to complete an undefeated championship season since Virginia went 17-0 in 2006. Since the NCAA Tournament began in 1971, 13 teams have capped an undefeated season with a championship, with the first team to do so being Maryland in 1973. It has happened just three times over the last 30 years (Princeton in 1997, Johns Hopkins in 2005, Virginia in 2006).  

With a win over Cornell, Maryland would also set an NCAA record for most wins in season (18) without a loss.

Maryland, playing in the Final Four for the ninth time in 11 seasons, opened the scoring on an unassisted goal by Keegan Khan three minutes in. Khan went on to score the first three goals of the game for the Terps, giving Maryland a 3-1 lead with 5:38 left in the first.

Maryland, which entered with the best offense in Division I at 18.5 goals per game, led 5-1 after the first. Terps goalie Logan McNaney made six saves in the quarter. 

Logan Wisnauskas and Jonathan Donville added goals in the second to push the Maryland lead to 7-2. Princeton closed the half with two goals, with Chris Brown scoring to cut the deficit to 7-4 during a three-minute man advantage for an illegal body check by Maryland’s John Geppert. 

Maryland opened the second half with four unanswered goals, capped by Owen Murphy scoring a pair in a seven-second span to increase the Terps’ lead to 11-4.

Wisnauskas finished with a team-high four goals. McNaney, a junior goalie, had a career-high 19 saves. 

That helped Maryland return to the final for a second straight season, as the Terps look to avenge last year’s 17-16 loss to Virginia. 

They’ll face Cornell, which defeated No. 6 Rutgers 17-10 earlier Saturday to advance to the final for the first time since 2009 when they lost to Syracuse in overtime. The Big Red (14-4) defeated a Rutgers team playing in its first Final Four to move within one win of the program’s fourth national title and first since 1977. 

In order to capture it, they’ll have to defeat a Maryland team on the brink of perfection. 

The national championship will be played Monday at 1 p.m. ET at Rentschler Field in Connecticut. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN. 

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