Looking to stay undefeated and claim 5th win of the season, Maryland Men's Lacrosse went on the road for the 2nd time this year, again to New York, and beat Stony Brook 11-8.
Maryland started off quickly, winning the opening FO before turning it over after mainly passing around the Stony Brook defense. After a TO forced by Casey Ikeda, Mike Chanenchuk struck first for the Terrapins continuing his hot streak from midfield. After Stony Brook got their first of the afternoon to tie it up at 1, Raffa won the FO and Rambo scored after an alley dodge to put Maryland back up 2-1. Maryland won another face off and Chanenchuk added his second with a bounce shot make it 3-1. Maryland continued the pressure and Jay Carlson got his first of the afternoon taking a pass after coming from behind the cage. Stony Brook would get a few more possessions later in the 1Q, testing Amato but Niko was up to the challenge and kept them out with the help of his post as well. The score would remain the rest of the way and after 1 the Terps led by 3.
Chanenchuk got the Terps off the mark early in the 2Q with a laser on the EMO, giving him a hat trick 15:36 in. Henry West then notched his first with a bounce shot to make it 6-1 2:36 into the 2Q. The Seawolves earned a few offensive possessions and had a few good shot attempts but Amato fended them off. Stony Brook earned an EMO and Eastwood scored off a quick stick in front to cut the lead to 4. After a prolonged offensive possession, Tim Rotanz coming off of injury, got his first of the year and restored the 5 goal lead. Michael Ehrhardt then forced a TO after Stony Brook won the face-off and the Terps countered quickly and Rotanz added another in transition to make it 8-2. Like they did at the end of the 1st quarter, Stony Brook worked themselves into the game again and tested Amato in the Maryland cage but the Senior was up to the task. Maryland took the 8-2 lead to the half.
Stony Brook got off to a good start in the 2nd Half testing Amato in the opening 2 minutes or so before Maryland forced a turnover. Maryland would then turn it over on their own offensive possession and the Seawolves came down in transition and scored through Brody Eastwood to make it 8-3. Maryland would answer on their next offensive series, after Heacock sent a skip pass to Cole and Cole unloaded on a wrister. Raffa won the face-off, and in a familiar scene all day, Maryland was poised offensively with everyone getting a touch. The Terrapins got a few shots off from LoCascio and Chanenchuk but they were saved and high of the cage each.
The Terps clearing game was sharp all day, and that was a key in the 3rd Quarter as Stony Brook earned a foothold in the game and increased the pressure on the Terrapins. The Terps defense also gave Stony Brook no easy shot opportunities all day and that made the Seawolves task to cut into the healthy Maryland lead very difficult. The teams would exchange extended offensive opportunities but nothing got past the two goaltenders and the Terps carried a 9-3 lead into the 4th Quarter.
Stony Brook had increased success on FO's in the 2nd half, as after a few procedure penalties and what appeared like and injury Charlie Raffa did not take the bulk of the face-offs in the 2nd half. Stony Brook took advantage as Rodgers worked inside and scored to make it 9-4. Stony Brook won the FO and on an extended offensive possession scored to cut the lead to 9-5. Maryland lost yet another face-off but Maryland forced a TO to clear. Cannizzaro foolishly threw the ball away after having a wide open shot and Stony Brook re-took possession. Stony Brook scored again and Maryland's sloppiness was being punished. Raffa returned out for the FO and won it for the Terps. Maryland had several shots but turned it over yet again and came away with nothing. Stony Brook scored again and a game Maryland was once running away with was a dogfight as the Terps were increasingly sloppy and not taking advantage of their shots. UMD forced a TO and after some clock burning, Cole scored off a bounce shot and put Maryland back up 10-7.
Raffa was back out again for the face-off and won it to a teammate. The Terps offensive possession was a mirror image to the last one as they burned clock, tested the Stony Brook goal, and then took advantage as Mike Chanenchuk scored his 4th to make it 11-7 Maryland.
After some clock burning from the Terrapins, Stony Brook struck again to cut the lead to 3 with 1:12 left. Maryland would hold strong defensively and run the clock out to take an 11-8 win.
Maryland was in full control and dominant when Charlie Raffa was at the face-off X. With Raffa out with what appeared to be an injury, Stony Brook made a run and gave Maryland a scare. Raffa is a huge cog in this Maryland team, and without him at the FO X, the Terps are far more sloppy and cagey.
Maryland did what they had to do though and came away with a victory. Still chinks to work out and it's good that we're only in the 2nd week of March so those can be worked on. But the story of this game was mainly how much Charlie Raffa means to Maryland. Hopefully he'll be fully healthy and ready to go on Friday as the Terps are back home to take on Villanova. If so, this Maryland team will be very hard to beat.
As said, Maryland's next outing is at home on Friday night, taking on the Villanova Wildcats. The Wildcats are a talented team and will pose a threat to this young Terps team, who looks to keep improving and add wins along the way before the meat of their schedule comes as we hit April. The tests will keep on coming, and so far, this young Terps team has been up to the task.