The Maryland men’s lacrosse team capped off an undefeated campaign with a national championship. It was anything but easy, however, as the Terrapins held on for dear life to prevail 9-7 against Cornell in the title game on Monday before a Memorial Day crowd of 22,184 in East Hartford, Connecticut.

C.J. Kirst got Cornell (14-5) on the board first. But Maryland (18-0) took charge for the rest of the first half as Anthony DeMaio notched four goals and an assist. A stout defense backed by tournament most outstanding player Logan McNaney, who recorded 10 saves in the first half, helped Maryland build a 7-2 cushion heading into intermission.

The Terps stretched the lead to 9-2 when Jonathan Donville finished a feed from Logan Wisnauskas with 11:55 remaining in the third quarter. The Terrapins appeared to be on their way to another dominant victory, like so many they’ve enjoyed during the season. But they wouldn’t score again, committing an uncharacteristic 14 turnovers in the second half to finish with a season-high 22 for the game.

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The Big Red, meanwhile, began chipping away at the deficit. A tally by Spencer Wirtheim with 7:27 left in the fourth cut the margin to 9-6 as the Maryland defense was visibly gassed. But McNaney preserved the margin with a couple of key stops in the final minutes, finishing with 17 total saves for the game. McNaney was coming off a career-best 19-save effort in Saturday’s semifinal win against Princeton.

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