The Maryland men’s lacrosse team, following a promotion to No. 4 in the country, faced an important non-conference matchup against the No. 19 North Carolina Tar Heels. Maryland was terrific from the face-off circle Saturday winning 22 of 29 from the circle and preserving offensive pressure in a 16-9 statement victory against UNC.
Coming into Saturday, the 7-1 Terps held a 4-0 home record and were also riding a three-game winning streak. Maryland’s ex-ACC rival, however, was also coming in with some momentum, winning its last three games by just over an average of seven goals.
Maryland saw key contributions on Saturday from senior Austin Henningsen as the face-off specialist won 22 draws, limiting the amount of offensive zone time for the Tar Heels. Goaltender Danny Dolan was again extremely sharp in goal for the Terps stopping 12 shots with a .571 save percentage on the afternoon. The dynamic scoring from Logan Wisnauskas, Jared Bernhardt, Louis Dubick and Anthony DeMaio contributed to 14 of the 16 goals for the Terps. The four main scorers for Maryland have each been crucial to the team’s current winning streak.
The two teams began the day exchanging early goals as North Carolina’s Timmy Kelly scored his 10th goal of the season to put the Tar Heels ahead early. The early spark from North Carolina was quickly forgotten as DeMaio tallied three straight goals for a first quarter hat trick from the sophomore attackman. North Carolina’s Jacob Kelly and Maryland’s Logan Wisnauskas exchanged goals to end the quarter, leaving Maryland with just a 4-2 lead.
Maryland made a massive leap in the second quarter scoring seven of the eight total goals of the period to take a massive 11-3 lead into halftime. Henningsen’s ability to continue to win faceoffs let the Maryland offense get plenty of opportunities to extend the lead to eight goals. Dubick added the exclamation point to the high-scoring Maryland half with a score with just 19 seconds left.
To begin the third, North Carolina tried to find any sort of momentum to help recover from the deficit. Kelly scored two goals in the first five minutes of the half for the Tar Heels to bring the lead within six. Maryland held strong however, scoring back-to-back off the sticks of Kyle Long and Bernhardt. Maryland was able to control the third period, confidently moving forward with a game-high nine goal lead.
In the fourth quarter, the Terrapins were much more conservative with its approach, wasting time and playing sound defense to run out the final 15 minutes. North Carolina scored three of the four goals of the quarter, but the Terrapins had built too much of a cushion, shutting the door on the Tar Heels’ comeback hopes.
Maryland will now begin conference play with a game against the Penn State Nittany Lions next Sunday back at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium.