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Rutgers men's lacrosse 2nd half collapse leads to road defeat against No. 5 Maryland

Freshman midfielder Colin Kurdyla had a team-leading 2 goals in the Rutgers men's lacrosse team's 11-6 loss to Maryland on Saturday. – Photo by Christian Sanchez

The Rutgers men's lacrosse team was defeated 11-6 by Maryland on Saturday night. The Scarlet Knights (7-5, 1-3) hung close with the Terrapins (8-3, 3-1) in the first half but were shut down offensively in the second half and suffered a 5-goal loss.

Here are two takeaways from the road defeat.

Even first half

The first quarter was even and slow-paced. The 1st goal of the game would not be scored until the 6:41 mark, as No. 5 Maryland took the lead through Daniel Kelly. Rutgers equalized with 50 seconds remaining in the quarter with a pole goal from sophomore long-stick midfielder Ryan Splaine. After 15 minutes of play, it was tied at 1-1 in what was a sloppy first quarter with 10 combined turnovers between both teams.

The game sparked to life in the second quarter. Junior attacker Dante Kulas gave the Knights their first and only lead of the night. The Terrapins then scored 2 quick goals to get back in front, but freshman midfielder Colin Kurdyla responded with a tally to make it 3-3. Both teams traded goals before Maryland scored the last 2 goals of the quarter to lead 6-4 at halftime.

In the first half, Rutgers caused nine turnovers and played sharp defense, trailing only by 2 goals at the break.

"I think we just gotta clean up a few things," said head coach Brian Brecht at halftime. "I think we're right there — we gotta take advantage of some of the miscues and finish our shots."

Poor second half

The Knights would let the game get away from them in the second half.

The third quarter was similar to the first, as it was a defensive battle between both teams. After 11 minutes, the Terrapins found twine from Kelly, but graduate student attacker Ross Scott cut the deficit to 2 goals with his 1st tally of the contest. Heading into the fourth quarter, Rutgers trailed 7-5 but was still fully in the game and had the possibility of making a comeback.

Senior midfielder Shane Knobloch scored early to make it a close final quarter, but Maryland took complete control and scored 4 straight goals to seal the win.

Kurdyla led the Knights with 2 goals and had his fifth multi-goal game of the season. Junior defender Tommy Mendyke had two ground balls, and redshirt freshman goalkeeper Cardin Stoller had 14 saves.

Rutgers will close out its regular season against Penn State on Friday. The game will begin at 6 p.m. at SHI Stadium on Busch campus and will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network and 88.7 WRSU-FM.

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

To view more of Matthew Mangam's work, follow @matthewmangam on X.

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