2 For 2–Men’s Lax Wins 24th Straight Season Opener over Navy 15-12 and Women’s Lax Waltzes over W&M 13-3

Blog from Todd Carton

Here are some things that happened in the winter of 1993: Zayn Malik of One Direction was born on January 12. Bill Clinton took his first oath of office as President of the United States on January 20. On March 29, Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven would win the Academy Award for Best Picture. In between those last two events Duke beat Maryland 9-5 in the Terrapins’ season opening lacrosse game. The following season, Maryland opened with a 17-8 win over Villanova and began a streak of opening day wins that reached 24 Saturday in Annapolis with the Terps’ 15-12 win over the tenth ranked Navy Midshipmen.

Still, it’s probable that Coach John Tillman and the Terps felt relieved having that win under their belts when they got on the bus back to College Park. Maryland faceoff specialist Austin Henningsen won the opening draw, sprinted down the field and scored just seven seconds into the contest. That would be the highlight of the day for Henningsen and his compatriot Will Bonaparte as Navy would go on to win 21 of the next 29 encounters at the dot. The Terps also turned the ball over 11 times including on their only extra man opportunity.

Looking at these stats, the reasonable conclusion might be that Maryland’s defense that, in his preseason remarks, Tillman called “a work in progress was exceptional. At some times they were and at others they were a bit porous. Often, it took an exceptional play from junior goalie Dan Morris, who finished with 12 saves on 24 shots to help the Terps gain then keep separation particularly in the second half.

After Henningsen’s opening goal, Navy scored twice to take a short lived 2-1 lead that lasted just over a minute before Connor Kelly notched the equalizer. Ninety seconds later Dylan Maltz put the Terps back on top before a late goal by the Middies saw the first quarter end all square at three apiece.

Navy drew first blood in the second but Colin Heacock and Matt Rambo ran a beautiful two man set come around for a point blank shot at the right post. The pair would connect on a similar play early in the fourth quarter that would be part of a 4-0 Terrapins run that began with Heacock’s late third quarter highlight reel score.

Seeming to take a page from the playbook of Lars Tiffany, Tillman allowed his long poles to to play a significant part in Maryland’s offense. Matt Neufeldt rewarded that strategy with a goal that put the Terps up 5-4. After Navy tied the score at five, highly touted freshman Jared Bernhardt tickled the twin with under one second left for the first goal of his career giving the Terps some momentum and a 6-5 halftime edge.

Navy scored first in the third quarter before Maryland put together the first of their two four goal runs. Again, the Terps had a score from a long stick midfielder. This one came from Nick Brozowski off a feed Rambo who registered the first of three assists to go along with his three goals. But, just when things seemed comfortable, the Middies took advantage of their faceoff superiority and narrowed the gap to 10-8.

The Terps scored the first three goals in the fourth quarter to end the other four goal run that began with Heacock’s goal at the end of the third. Dylan Maltz banged home his team leading fourth of the day to put Maryland ahead 15-10 before Navy scored twice late for the final margin.

Maryland travels to Philadelphia for a Tuesday matchup with St. Joseph’s before hosting High Point in their home opener Saturday afternoon.

Bruce’s Take on Men’s Victory

15 points from the starting attack line

Tillman played a little Lars Tiffany lacrosse leaving the long poles on offense-resulted in 2 goals

For his 1st game of significance starting–Danny Morris did a strong job with 12 saves and many perfect clears. Danny will reeive about 1000 low shots on Moday.

Losing 21 of 30 face offs is something that never happens to Maryland. 9-21 is not a stat that you will win many games with.

Jared Bernhardt –1 G on a great dodge and 1 assist

Strong game from Conor Kelly

Play of the game–LSM Matt Neufeld stole a pass andput hid own rebound in the net

Great crowd at Navy

 

*****

Meanwhile, in Williamsburg, Maryland’s second ranked women’s lacrosse team opened their 2017 season – the first in the post Taylor Cummings era – with a 13-3 win over the William & Mary Tribe. The Terps started slowly but, after the home team tied the score at two with 20 minutes to play in the first half, Maryland closed the period on a 4-0 run kicked off by a pair of scores from senior Caroline Wannen.

Maryland’s momentum and superior talent continued into the second half as the Terps scored six more times before the Tribe finally got on the board with 3:46 to play. The absence of Cummings and 2016 Defensive Player of the Year Alice Mercer was most conspicuous in draw controls, where Maryland held a slim 10-8 edge, groundballs (21-18) and three failed clears in 20 attempts. However, the defense forced 18 turnovers and sophomore Megan Taylor was spectacular in goal where she notched 8 saves (.727) as well as causing a pair of turnovers and picking up three groundballs.

The 13 goals were spread around the Terrapins’ offense with Jen Giles and Kacie Longo joining Wannen with two goals. The remaining seven scores were spread among seven players including the first career goals for freshmen Kali Hartshorn, Lizzie Colson and Hanna Warther.

The Terps return to action Saturday when they make the short bus trip to Georgetown before hosting defending National Champion North Carolina as part of a lacrosse doubleheader with the men’s team on February 25.

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