The Maryland lacrosse program has been waiting 42 years to hoist a national championship.
On Monday with the nation watching, the Terrapins were crowned the top team in the college lacrosse world with a 9-6 victory over Ohio State.
Throughout the 2017 season, the likes of Matt Rambo, Connor Kelly, and Colin Heacock were the go-to guys in big moments for Maryland. However, on Monday, it was quite a different showing for the Terps.
The trio only combined for three total points. Instead, several of Maryland’s role players that don’t get a ton of publicity rose to the occasion.
Attackman Dylan Maltz registered two goals and an assist on the afternoon. He was one of Maryland’s most productive players, which is ironic since he was the only starting Maryland attackman that didn’t receive All-American honors.
Maltz benefitted from a great deal of Ohio State’s attention being placed on Heacock, Kelly, and Rambo. On his first goal, he found himself matched up against a short-stick defender and blew by his man on the way to the cage.
The Syracuse transfer was able to beat All-Big Ten goalie Tom Carey low to give Maryland a 4-2 lead early in the second quarter. Maltz was often overlooked due to the amount of depth that Maryland has on offense.
Maltz was incredibly efficient in Monday’s win. He attempted just three shots and scored on two of those attempts.
While Maltz may have been the most impressive, midfielder Adam DiMillo was definitely the biggest surprise.
DiMillo only had three goals entering Monday’s national championship game. However, the New York native registered a pair of first half goals to help the Terps jump out to a 5-2 advantage.
DiMillo benefitted from the right matchups against the Buckeyes.
The junior midfielder scored his first goal on a great individual effort. DiMillo was able to dodged his way by midfielder Jack Kelly and rifled a shot past Carey to tie the game at two in the opening quarter.
With 9:43 left in the second quarter, DiMillo struck once again off a play that he himself made possible.
Rambo brought the ball from behind the cage and received a pick from DiMillo, which confused a pair of Ohio State defenders. As a result, DiMillo was able to slide in front, received a pass from Rambo, and buried the wide-open shot.
Maltz and DiMillo combined for five points on the afternoon and really provided a boost for an offense that needed it. The Buckeyes were ready for the likes of Rambo, Heacock, and Kelly, but that allowed Maltz and DiMillo to step into the limelight.
Maryland definitely didn’t have a perfect performance on Monday, but the defense and the play of goalie Dan Morris were superb. Given how Ohio State played throughout the season, it was a great achievement for a program that was starving for a national title.