Maryland-Cornell Lacrosse: Terps complete improbable comeback, win 8-7

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland won a tight one over Cornell, outscoring them 7-2 in the second half and moved on the NCAA Quarterfinals.

In a rematch of last years first round, where Cornell drubbed the Terps 16-8, Maryland enacted some revenge, topping Big Red 8-7. Both these programs eye National Championships every year, but it's Maryland who kept that dream alive in a hard fought game, outscoring Big Red 7-2 after being down 5-1 at HT and looking dead in the water.

Uniforms

Maryland - All White

Cornell - Red/White

1st Quarter

Doug Tesoriero won the opening face-off and Cornell cashed in immediately, with Connor Buczek cutting inside and scoring. A dead ball foul was called on the Terps, and Cornell got possession back immediately. Maryland played very well on the Extra Man Opportunity for Cornell, and forced a TO to go on offense. Maryland's offensive possession was lengthy, with Joe LoCascio getting a few opportunities before Connor Canizzaro attacked from behind the net and nearly snuck one by Christian Knight in the Cornell cage, but the goalie was up to the task.

Amato made a save on the ensuing Big Red possession, and Matt Rambo earned an EMO in transition on a push. Maryland turned it over immediately however, with a LoCascio pass picked off. Maryland forced a few TO's on the next two Cornell rides, but could not cash in with the extra opportunities.

Cornell's next goal came with 1:20 left. After Chanenchuk ran himself into a double team, Cornell came away with the TO and Mike O'Neil scored in transition.

Maryland's offense wasn't completely stagnant, but they weren't' creating space at all and it was costing them on offense. Charlie Raffa won the opening FO, before turning it over but was hit high, and Cornell got called for an illegal body check, sending UMD to a non-releasable EMO. Maryland moved the ball quickly, but once again couldn't cash in and Cornell took possession.

After 1, Cornell lead 2-0 with Maryland playing a putrid offensive period.

2nd Quarter

Tesoriero won the opening FO, and took it right down and tested Amato, but Niko made the big save. Maryland tested Christian Knight on multiple occasions, but the Big Red netminder stood tall on both occasions and the Terps offensive drought continued. Cornell scored again, 3:40 into the 2Q, on an unassisted tally by Matt Donovan. Tesoriero won another FO and Cornell went right back on offense. After a nearly minute and a half possession, Donovan drived in and scored again, making it 4-0.

Maryland's inefficiency on offense continued, with nothing opening up or getting past Knight. With under 8:30 left, CU was rolling 4-0. A Big Red goal was called off, and Maryland set up on offense in desperate need of a goal. That goal came with 6:01 left, after Mike Chanenchuk wrapped around and scored to cut the lead to 3. Cornell was called for a foul, and after Raffa won the FO, UMD went to a 1 minute EMO. The Terps got a big opportunity with a Chanenchuk shot as the EMO ran down, but Knight made another big save.

Both teams had chances over the next few minutes, before Cornell scored with 12 seconds left to make it 5-1 and cap a horrendously played 1st Half from Maryland.

3rd Quarter

Cornell won the opening FO, but Maryland took possession after a failed CU clear. Mike Chanenchuk hit a pipe with UMD's first shot of the half, and then Cannizzaro shot on goal but it was saved by Knight. Michael Ehrhardt kept up his strong start to the half with a CT/GB soon after to put the Terps right back on offense. Maryland hit another pipe with Jay Carlson, and then Rambo shot on goal but it was saved again by Knight, but Carlson followed up in front to make it 5-2.

A cross check was called on Big Red on the goal, and they took possession immediately after. Rambo cashed in on the opportunity, giving UMD two quick goals. After Raffa won the ensuing FO, the Terps got another through Connor Cannizzaro, to make it a 1 goal game. Maryland kept up the pressure over the next few minutes, peppering Knight, but Brian Cooper was called for a 1 minute unnecessary roughness penalty, sending Cornell to the Man-Up.

Cornell cashed in on the Man-Up through John Hogan, pushing their lead back to 2. Raffa won the next FO, and nearly took it all the way and scored, but shot wide. Mike Chanenchuk turned it over soon after however, and the Red went back on offense. Buczek would turn it over right back though, and Maryland had a chance to cut the lead to 1. But Brian Cooper then turned it over, and we went the other way. After an off target shot by Lintner, UMD cleared successfully this time, and went back to work with the ball. The Terps had a big opportunity with Henry West, but yet another big save was made by Christian Knight.

The 3rd Quarter ended at 6-4, and we weren't quite done at Byrd Stadium.

4th Quarter

Maryland won the opening possession, despite Raffa appearing hurt. They carved out a chance with Chanenchuk, but Mike shot right at the goalie and it was an easy save. Goran Murray forced a TO immediately after on Cornell's next possession, giving the ball back to Maryland.

The Terps' possession would be lengthy, and they drew an EMO. 13 seconds in they scored with Rambo getting his 2nd. Raffa went out there despite being banged up, and knocked the FO to Ehrhardt, but Maryland turned it over, Chanenchuk the culprit, just under a minute after the FO win. Cornell would call a time-out, and led 6-5 with 10:41 left.

The Terps were in need of a stop, but Donovan attacked the cage and left a beautiful backdoor feed for Lintner, to bump the lead back to 2. Maryland responded soon after, with Rambo notching a hat-trick and the CU lead was back down to 1. The Terps notched another one with 8:12 left through Cannizzaro and we had a tie game at 7. Doug T won the next face-off for CU, a big one, after they had lost 7 of the last 8. After a long Cornell possession, Isaiah Davis-Allen forced a big TO and gave Maryland the ball in a tie game with under 6 minutes left.

The Terps carved out an offensive chance for Cannizzaro, but Christian Knight came up with the stop giving it back to the Red with under 5 left. The UMD defense came up big again however, forcing another big TO and with 3:37 left, they had a chance to take their first lead of the ball game. However Maryland turned it over themselves, giving the Big Red offense another chance to re-take the lead.

After a frenetic sequence, Maryland called TO with 53 seconds left in possession, looking to win it. After burning some clock, Maryland nearly turned it over but Mike Chanenchuk came up with a big GB. And then, fate would have it, it was Mike Chanenchuk with the game winner after a skip pass from Henry West to put Maryland over the top.

I'll admit. I never thought this would happen. Maryland looked dead in the water at HT. Down 5-1. Nothing was working. Then John Tillman made some tweaks. Maryland increased the ball movement, they took open shots, they didn't wait to burn time. They went after it and they won it. Credit to Coach Tillman after my half-time criticism, and credit to this Terps time on an unbelievable comeback, and a trip to the NCAA Quarterfinals.

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