The 1975 Maryland men's lacrosse team nearly did not qualify for the NCAA Tournament, playing just seven NCAA games with a 5-2 record. But the Terps did earn a bid and made it count by winning three tournament games decisively to be crowned the national champions for the second time in three years.
But this was not the domination that the 1973 title team showed. Maryland opened the season with a win over North Carolina, but suffered a devastating loss in its first game when All-America attackman Ed Mullen was lost for the season with an early-season knee injury. The Terps responded with a pair of victories over Air Force and Brown, but dropped their next two at Virginia and at Navy by a combined two goals.
Maryland, which was inexperienced early in the season while dealing with numerous injuries to key players, returned to its run-and-gun style of play and ripped off wins over Army and archrival Johns Hopkins to qualify for the tournament.
Once in the field there was no denying the Terps, thanks in large part to midfielder Frank Urso, who was named the recipient of the Lt. Raymond Enners Memorial Award as the nation's outstanding player in 1975. He tied the then-NCAA championship game record with five goals to lead Maryland to a 20-13 romp over the Midshipmen, avenging the Terps' regular-season defeat.
The game was a back-and-forth struggle with the Terps and the Mids wrestling to gain control. Maryland finally caught a break in the fourth quarter. Hanging on to a 13-10 lead, the Terps built a four-goal lead on a fast-break goal by defensman Mike Farrell.
One of the unsung heroes of the 1975 team was senior goalie Gary Niels. A converted midfielder, Niels made a pair of one-on-one stops to preserve Maryland's lead in the fourth quarter and finished with 17 saves in the title game.
The Terps' 20 goals set the championship game goals record that stood for 15 years (Syracuse topped Loyola 21-9 in 1990). The 54 goals in a three-game series was also a tournament record for Maryland.
1975 National Champions