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No. 3 Rutgers men's lacrosse falls short in top-ranked battle with No. 1 Maryland

Two goals from senior attacker Brian Cameron were not enough as the Rutgers men’s lacrosse team dropped its matchup against the No. 1 team in the nation. – Photo by Rich Graselle / Scarletknights

The Rutgers men’s lacrosse team suffered its first Big Ten loss of the season today, falling 17-9 to Maryland at Capital One Field in College Park, Maryland. Senior attacker Brian Cameron and sophomore midfielder Shane Knobloch led the scoring with 2 goals each, while the No. 1 Terrapins (10-0, 3-0) got a 4-goal night from Keegan Khan and a hat trick from Logan Wisnauskas.

“Maryland's a great team. They got off to a great start,” said head coach Brian Brecht after the game. “So I've got to do a better job of getting my team ready to go. We were not ready to go today, and I'll take full responsibility.”

The No. 3 Scarlet Knights (10-2, 2-1) fell behind quickly, as Maryland got out to a 5-0 lead in the first 5 minutes of the game, aided by a pair of goals from Wisnauskas.

Rutgers answered by scoring 3 of the next 4 goals, with Knobloch scoring both of his goals in the run to cut it to a 6-3 Terrapin lead.

“Credit to them — (Maryland's) a really good team…” said senior midfielder Ryan Gallagher. “Offensively, they came out of the gate really, really fast, and so we had to respond to that.”

Another offensive tear then came for the Terrapins, who finished the first half on a 5-1 run over the half’s last 14 minutes to go to the halftime locker room up 11-4. 

Maryland then picked it up right where the team left off in the third quarter, going on a 4-1 scoring run through the period. 

“I knew (Maryland was) good — I didn't know they were this good … I was really taken aback (by) how talented they are across the board,” Brecht said. “They made us pay for a lot of mistakes.”

The Knights answered with back-to-back goals to start the fourth quarter, including a behind-the-back goal from Cameron, as the program finished the game on a 4-2 run in the fourth quarter. Both of the Terrapins' goals in the fourth came from extra-man opportunities.

Maryland outshot Rutgers by a total of 45-36 to go along with a 32-23 advantage in shots on goal. The Terrapins also won the ground ball battle over the Knights 32-17 and won 22 of 30 faceoffs.

Meanwhile, senior goalkeeper Colin Kirst finished with 15 saves. It is just the fourth game this year where Kirst saved less than 50 percent of his shots.

With the loss, Rutgers dropped to second in the Big Ten at 2-1, owning the head-to-head tiebreaker over Ohio State. The Knights will have a chance to bounce back this Saturday as they head west to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to play Michigan, who is winless in conference play this season.

“I love this team. I think we have some talented players, and it's great being around them every day," Brecht said. "But if that's the number one team in the country, then we have a long way to go.”

For more updates on the Rutgers men's lacrosse team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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