Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics
In a rematch of last year’s season opener, Maryland (2-0) and their explosive offense are set to take on High Point (1-1) on Saturday at 1 p.m. in their first home game of the 2017 season.
Maryland defeated High Point 15-10 last season, but both teams look very different than they did when they met in College Park last year.
High Point has graduated their leaders in goals scored, points scored, face-offs won, ground balls and games played from last season, but they do return the program’s third-leading scorer, captain and senior attackman Michael LeClair. LeClair has put together back-to-back 50 point seasons and he leads HPU with 4 points in two games this season.
This will be Maryland’s third game in eight days, but they are showing no signs of slowing down. The Terps have scored 31 goals in their first two games, which is their most in the first two games of a season since 2013. Matt Rambo has scored 13 points thus far, which is his highest two-game point total in his career.
The Terps are also second in the nation in shooting percentage this season, scoring on 44.9 percent of their shots.
HPU goalie Tim Troutner Jr. has led the Panthers through their first two games. Troutner had 14 saves and caused three turnovers in the Panthers’ 9-3 win against Georgetown this past Tuesday. Troutner will have his hands full on Saturday when he takes on the three-headed Maryland attack that has already scored 16 goals this season.
The Panthers lost their season opener to No. 14 Duke, 10-5, in Durham, N.C. last Friday.
Junior goalkeeper Dan Morris has been fantastic for Maryland this season in his first two career starts, racking up 19 saves and a .497 save percentage and he is finally starting to gain some confidence after winning his first two games in goal.
High Point’s defense is returning two starters from last year’s unit, senior captain Tanner Landstra and junior Terrell Sands, that gave up 10.79 goals per game last season.
Freshman midfielder Jared Bernhardt has already turned heads with his play through the first two games of the season for the Terps. He scored one goal in the opener against Navy and recorded his first career hat trick against St. Joseph’s on Tuesday. That was already the fourth hat trick for a Terp so far.
“He’s been real big, a little quiet but he works hard all the time,” Morris said. “Coming into freshman year is always tough. He’s progressively getting better with each practice and every rep and I’m really looking forward to what he has to bring later on.”
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