On paper, Maryland had the advantage. With a prolific offense that included Maryland all time leading scorer (an incredible feat in a program as storied as Maryland) and Tewaarton Award finalist Matt Rambo, Dylan Maltz, and offensive middie powerhouse Connor Kelly; let’s face it, Ohio State as good as they were, did not match up. On the other hand, we gave Ohio State a chance in this game based on past battles with Maryland, the fact that this game was an inter-conference rivalry, Ohio States face off prowess driving more possessions, and Ohio State’s physical, gritty and tenacious style of play.
While Ohio State started off the game dominating physically, Maryland’s defense tightened up and their offense ultimately took control of the tempo of the game. Although Ohio State would not go away and pulled within 2 goals with 2 minutes left, Maryland dominated possessions and committed very few unforced errors. The best team truly won.
One cannot help but feel happy for the Maryland seniors who came through with the weight of 42 years on their shoulders and a fan base that that had watched their beloved Terps come so close in so many championship games since 1975 only to come up short every time…until yesterday.
While Ohio State came up short, they should walk away from this experience with heads held high. This roster was the first Ohio State team to make the Final 4 and then went on to take it a step further to the title game. They have perhaps the most diverse roster among Division I top 10 teams. While they do have players that hail from some of the more traditional lacrosse states like Maryland, NY, and Pennsylvania, they have several players from their home state of Ohio, as well as players from Alabama, Florida, California, Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Delaware. Rounding out their roster are the Ontario and British Columbia based Canadians. Alabama? Really?
While Maryland’s win represent’s a storied programs return to glory, Ohio States runner up achievement represents the growth of lacrosse into less traditional areas where kids may now feel that they finally have a seat at the table along side players from the Northeast.
For many reasons, this was a lacrosse National Championship game to remember! Congrats to Maryland and Ohio State. To all of the May Madness teams, thank you for a great season of the best lacrosse in the world!
Dr. Roger Welton is a practicing veterinarian and well regarded media personality through a number of topics and platforms. In addition to being passionate about integrative veterinary medicine for which he is a nationally renowned expert, Dr. Welton was also an accomplished college lacrosse player and remains to this day very involved in the sport. He is president of Maybeck Animal Hospital , runs the successful veterinary/animal health blogs Web-DVM and Dr. Roger’s Holistic Veterinary Care, and fulfills his passion for lacrosse through his lacrosse and sport blog, The Creator’s Game.