Cavaliers End Maryland’s Dream Season

Cavaliers end Maryland’s dream season, 17-16. In an absolute classic, Virginia (14-4) ended the undefeated season for the Maryland Terrapins (15-1) to claim the 2021 NCAA Division 1 Lacrosse Championship. A crowd of 14,816 were treated to a very entertaining contest. Alex Rode, the Cavs netminder would turn aside 12 shots but none were bigger than the last save. Luke Wierman won the face-off clean and went in on Rode. The shot hit Ride in the chest and the celebration was on!

PST Vegas 1

Let’s Look at How We Got to That Scenario

A feel ’em out opening quarter with a knotted up game at 4. It took nearly seven minutes before Daniel Maltz (2g) converted a Kyle Long feed and Maryland went in front. Matt Moore (4g,2a) tied it when Petey LaSalla won the ensuing face-off and after six seconds it was 1-1. The quick strike and counter were on and :34 elapsed before Kyle Long (1g,3a) scored his 16th.

LaSalla (1g,1a) won another and took it himself to tie it again… How long did it take after the Long goal? Not long… pardon the pun, this time it was eight seconds! Joshua Coffman (1g) buried a Jared Bernhardt feed. Bernhardt also assisted on a Logan Wisnauskas (5G,1a) net tweeter to push the Terps to a 4-2 edge. Jeff Conner (3g,1a) and Connor Shellenberger (4g,2a) notching his 34th off a pretty Matt Moore setup that ended the opening stanza.

Virginia was finding their mojo and kept the run going courtesy of Payton Cormier (2g). Jared Connors (1g), Shellenberger, and Jeff Conners to push the Cavs to an 8-4 advantage. It was Maryland’s turn. Jared Bernhardt (2g,3a) picked up his 70th and 71st with Griffin Brown (1g) making it a one-goal game. Shellenberger fed Cormier for his 45th to close the hyper-competitive first half with Virginia holding a 9-7 edge.

The Action Continues

Wisnauskas took 53 to get it back to a goal lead. Dox Aitken (1g,1) and Shellenberger assisted on the 14th from Jeff Conner.
Maryland, showing why they came in without a loss, reeled off markers from Wisnauskas, Roman Puglise (1g), and Wisnauskas adding yet another which knotted it up at 11-11. Virginia commented, “hold my beer” and closed the quarter with goals from Peter Garno (1g), Shellenberger, and Matt Moore to boost the Cavs to a 14-11 advantage with 15:00 to go.

Shellenberger and Moore kept the goal party going and with 11:04 to play, Virginia seemingly had this one locked down, 16-11. The score stayed that way for nearly five minutes before, guess who? Wisnauskas started a will rally. After the Wisnauskas goal, Virginia’s Chris Merle was called for Unnecessary Conduct, resulting in Daniel Maltz scoring the only man-up goal exactly :10 seconds in the penalty.

Goals would come fast and furious mostly from the Terps Bubba Fairman (1g,1a) at the 5:13 mark with Anthony DeMaio (2g,1a) got it to a one-goal game at 16-15 with 3:57 to play. Matt Moore ended an 8 minute scoreless run for Virginia with the biggest goal of his collegiate career to make it a two-goal game. Maryland had no quit and with :11 remaining, DeMaio put home a Kyle Long feet and the stage was set for the Rode heroics. Cavaliers end Maryland’s dream season.

Statistically:

LaSalla went 21 of 37 with Justin Shockey, who was ineffective was 2 of 7 with Luke Wierman posting a 14 for 30 games for the Terps. Rode had the 12 saves with Logan McNaney stopping 11. Shots favored Maryland, 49-39 while shots on goal were even at 28-28. Turnovers were low with the Cavs having 14 to Maryland’s 10.

‘We went into the game thinking how can we get away from the matchups that Maryland will put on us because we have incredible respect for 43 Makar and 54 Grill. But it was Connor Shellenberger stepping up and showing that he can win that matchup, he can win his matchup. The balance that he plays with, understanding when to attack because the opposing defense isn’t sliding versus when they are sliding and he can become the facilitator, the quarterback, he’s got a great balance for that. He’s not putting himself too far out in front and making himself like hunting points. He can let the game come to him and take what he sees. And then Matt Moore, stepping up on the biggest stage. I remember two years ago against Yale what a fantastic effort he had that day and here he is again with four goals. Our offense starts with those guys but we’re so lucky to have such a plethora of offensive personnel with Laviano and Payton and Connor, et cetera.” – Lars Tiffany

All Tournament Team:

  • Connor Shellenberger, Virginia (Most Outstanding Player)
  • Cade Saustad, Virginia
  • Alex Rode, Virginia
  • Petey LaSalla, Virginia
  • Jared Conners, Virginia
  • Matt Moore, Virginia
  • Nick Grill, Maryland
  • Logan Wisnauskas, Maryland
  • Jared Bernhardt, Maryland
  • William Perry, North Carolina
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Gary Groob
Gary Groob

Gary Groob has been involved with Lacrosse for the majority of his life, whether playing, coaching, or covering the sport for the media.

An avid fan, with a real drive about helping to “grow the game”, Gary became part of podcasts about the game in 2010. Through the podcasts, Mr. Groob was given an opportunity to write about lacrosse, and the rest as they say, is history.

Through many miles (flying and driving) Gary has made inroads with the National Lacrosse League, Major Series Lacrosse League, the Ontario Lacrosse Association, as well as the Arena Lacrosse League, covering the leagues, their teams, and players, working for, and in concert with all of them.

In the year 2020, Mr. Groob was made the media person for the Arena Lacrosse League, voted onto the board of directors of the Brampton Excelsiors Lacrosse Club, as well as being made administrator of the Lacrosse page “Global Lacrosse” with a membership of 9000 members in over 90 Countries. Gary was also made an administrator of Lacrosse History Past Present and Future in 2022.

Mr. Groob co-hosts a weekly Lacrosse show on Spanglish Sports World, and ZingoTV channel 250, as well as writes a weekly lacrosse column for La Portada Canada News (both in print, and online).

Gary also hosts a Lacrosse talk show and podcast for The Edge of Philly Sports Network, seen live Sunday nights at 9pm (ET), and archived on the Edge of Philly YouTube page, as well as Spotify.

Mr. Groob’s other sports interests include Hockey, Football, Boxing, Wrestling, and Baseball, competing competitively in Boxing and Wrestling for many years.

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