staff, April 13, 2015

It's Monday, and that means it's time for me to share what you need to know about Big Ten lacrosse from the week that was.

Before I get to my latest three points, don?t forget to check out the BTN TV schedule for lacrosse, as well as the BTN Plus live streaming schedule.

[ MORE: View the latest Big Ten men's lacrosse standings ]


Maryland wins a pair of one-goal games

The Terrapins entered the week on an eight-game winning streak but had a couple things working against them. One, faceoff ace Charlie Raffa was still smarting from an injury suffered against Penn State. Two, the schedule was unforgiving with a hungry Loyola team in town for a mid-week clash, followed by a road trip four days later to clash with Rutgers. Raffa missed both games, but the winning streak stayed intact. The Terps found ways to win close games, their first such contests since a 10-8 decision over North Carolina in late March. Against Loyola, they surrendered a three-goal lead in the fourth quarter but got the game-winner from Bryan Cole with just over three minutes left. At Rutgers, the Terrapins won 9-of-13 faceoffs in the second half (after going 1-8 in first 30 minutes) and stormed back from a 6-3 deficit to win 9-8. Matt Rambo put the team on his back, registering six points (3g, 3a), all in the second half, including the game winner with only 13 seconds left. When the vaunted defense was tested, it was the offense that came through in both games.

Hopkins makes goalie switch, wins in overtime

Coming off a disappointing 15-12 loss to Ohio State that saw the Blue Jays only get five saves from goalie Eric Schneider, the move was made to start Will Ryan against Penn State. Ryan was steady, making nine saves in the Blue Jays' 11-10 2OT win on Saturday night. It wasn?t so much the quantity of saves but instead the quality. The Nittany Lions stormed back from a 6-2 deficit to score five straight to grab a 7-6 lead in the third period. From there, it was back and forth with the teams trading goals in an exciting display of Big Ten lacrosse. Ryan stepped up his game in the fourth, making three big stops for the Jays. Penn State only managed two shots in the extra frames, but Ryan made a huge save in the second session that allowed his team to go on offense and net the game winner. Hopkins was in dire need of some stops to give it an opportunity to win a game like this, and Will Ryan gave them that performance.

Penn State and Rutgers in the danger zone

The Nittany Lions and Scarlet Knights gave Hopkins and Maryland, respectively, all they could manage this past weekend. Both teams played with passion and energy. Ultimately, they both suffered one-goal losses, putting each at 0-3 in conference play. Penn State hosts Rutgers at 6 p.m. ET Sunday on BTN/BTN2Go. The winner stays alive in the hunt for a Big Ten Tournament berth. The loser could potentially be mathematically eliminated from contention for a top 4 seed. Expect an intense game this weekend at Penn State.

[ MORE: Watch Rutgers-Penn State at 6 p.m. ET Sunday on BTN2Go ]


Mark Dixon, a former Johns Hopkins lacrosse player, contributes to Inside Lacrosse and calls Big Ten men's lacrosse games on BTN. Follow him on Twitter (@DixonLacrosse).