After a hard-fought win against Penn on Saturday, No. 3 Maryland (4-0) did not have a long recovery period before taking on an upset-minded Colgate team. Despite the short recovery time, the Terps played their most complete game of the season in all three phases: offensively, defensively and at the faceoff x. The Terps have now started 4-0 for the third consecutive year.
Entering this game, Colgate was averaging 14 goals per game led by the attackmen duo of Nicky Petkevich and Sam Cleveland. However, today the Raiders scored only six goals struggling against the impressive Terrapin defense. All three long-pole defenders and senior goalie Danny Dolan communicated well all game long, allowing the Raiders high-octane offense few open opportunities. The Terps played sound fundamental defensive lacrosse, with effective communication and proper slide help when necessary.
“I thought coach Bernhardt had a great game plan for the defense,” head coach John Tillman said. “When we were out there this week in practice, we were dialed in and we started anticipating things really well,” senior defender Curtis Corley said.
After both teams showed some signs of rust early, the Terps offense began to show signs of life with great off-ball movement converting on its opportunities. In the final 19:40 of the first half, Maryland scored nine goals from five different players. The attackmen duo of junior Jared Bernhardt and sophomore Logan Wisnauskas led the way each with first half hat-tricks, each finishing with five points.
Maryland’s attackmen and midfielders won their individual matchups, forcing the Raiders to slide early particularly down low, near goal-line extended. Nine of 11 Maryland goals were assisted on, with quick and precise passing.
“I think that [unselfishness] defines this group, this has been a really fun group to be around,” Tillman said. “This is such a selfless group, the energy from the bench was great this group really cares about each other.”
To start the scoring, sophomore midfielder Bubba Fairman rifled a time and room shot top shelf past Mullen on the feed from Bernhardt who dodged from x drawing the slide, and then fired a crisp pass to Fairman.
Maryland scored two goals in the final 14 seconds of the first quarter, which really allowed them to build momentum into the second. First, sophomore midfielder Anthony Demaio dodged from x drawing the slide and found an open Louis Dubick, who fired a clean behind-the-back shot past Mullen to extend the Terps lead to three. Soon after, Wisnauskas found Bernhardt just outside the crease who recovered after initially bobbling the pass to rifle the shot top-shelf.
However, Bernhardt’s best highlight of the day would come shortly after early on in the second quarter increasing the Maryland lead to four once again. With one-second remaining on the shot clock, Bernhardt side-stepped his defender dodging towards goal line extended and finished a diving shot past Mullen, firing up his teammates and the crowd. To close out the first half, Maryland’s offense scored four more goals continuing the theme of unselfishness and off-ball cutting.
Senior faceoff specialist, Austin Henningsen won 14 of 20 faceoffs from Maryland after struggling against Penn on Saturday. However, Henningsen also had great help from his wings Nick Brozowski, Matt Rahill and Roman Pugliese. Overall, Maryland scooped up 35 ground balls while Colgate only managed 22.
“Terps, it’s just what we are we’re hard nosed guys we gotta get our nose down in there and get those ground balls,” Corley said. “To me [ground balls] is something Maryland has always been good at and we’re not at the standard we need to be, we just have to go back to work,” Tillman said.
Maryland will now travel to Annapolis to take on Navy on Saturday with faceoff scheduled for 12:00 p.m.
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