ncaa men's lacrosse national championship virginia maryland
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Virginia Men’s Lacrosse ended Maryland’s undefeated season on Monday, defeating the Terps 17-16 in the National Championship.

Ryan Honey

Virginia’s offense peaks at the right moment.

Maryland’s undefeated season is over.

In Hartford, Connecticut Monday afternoon, we saw an NCAA Men’s Lacrosse National Championship for the ages — very fitting when you consider last year’s title game was taken away from us due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

After sensational showings from either team during Saturday’s semifinal round, No. 4 Virginia took on No. 3 Maryland in the final game of the 2021 season with everything at stake.

Neither squad disappointed whatsoever.

It was a game of runs; one of the more crucial ones came in the fourth quarter and resulted in a 16-11 lead for UVA with around seven minutes left in regulation.

Nonetheless, the Terrapins and star attackman Jared Bernhardt stormed back — four consecutive Maryland goals later, and the game was 16-15 late in the fourth quarter.

Virginia concluded Maryland’s run with a crucial goal to widen the gap to 17-15 in favor of the Cavaliers, but the UVA defense faltered and allowed a crucial Maryland score with just 10.8 seconds remaining.

That’s when the biggest play of the season occurred.

After winning the most important faceoff of his life, Maryland midfielder Luke Wierman had his eyes on the game-tying goal to potentially send it to overtime.

Virginia goalie Alex Rode — one of the top netminders in the country — had different plans though, recording the biggest save of his entire career.

Everyone, whether you were at the game or watching it at home, held their breath as a scrum for the ball went down right near the crease. A huge ground ball was recorded by the Cavaliers before they intelligently launched the ball to the other end of the field.

Next thing you know, sticks, helmets, gloves, and any other piece of equipment you can name flew up in the air — Lars Tiffany’s squad knew the game had concluded, and a dogpile on top of Rode ensued at Virginia’s end of the field.

It’s UVA’s seventh National Championship victory and second consecutive — the Cavs won the 2019 title over Yale.

The top scorers for either team were Maryland midfielder Logan Wisnauskas (five goals, one assist) and Virginia attackmen Connor Shellenberger and Matt Moore (four goals, two assists each).

UVA survives; UVA prevails — another trophy is heading to Charlottesville.

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