Maryland set up themselves for a difficult start to the season and the first run of tough games saw the Terrapins meet No. 14 Yale. The Terps put in a strong effort through the first three quarters, but Yale used a possession advantage and great defense to outscore Maryland 4-0 in the final frame and come away with the W.
Maryland jumped out fast and early, with both goals coming in similar fashion. Jay Carlson and Matt Rambo beat their men attacking from behind the cage and finished calmly, giving the Terps an early 2-0 lead. Yale responded soon after courtesy of their leading scorer Conrad Oberbeck. After Charlie Raffa committed his third face-off violation in just six or so minutes, Yale found Oberbeck down low and he uncorked one past Kyle Bernlohr to knot the game at 2-2.
After forcing a turnover on Maryland's next possession, Ben Reeves drove in from goal line extended (GLE) and slotted one past Bernlohr. The Terrapins defense struggled with Yale's attacks and ball movement from behind the cage. Those struggles continued a minute later as Jeff Cimbalista got step and fired past Bernlohr into the top left corner and extended the Yale lead to two. Raffa started to get into a groove late in the quarter, but despite creating some good looks, Maryland couldn't beat Eric Natale in the Yale cage.
After one quarter, Yale held the lead, 4-2.
The Elis and the Terps had long extended possessions to start the second quarter, but a mix of stagnant offensive play and tight defense prevented either team from testing the goalies.
With 7:29 left in Quarter 2, Maryland got its first extra man opportunity (EMO) of the game after a slash on Rambo from Yale. The Terps cashed in on the opportunity courtesy of a wicked bounce shot from Henry West from 12 yards out. It bounced up in front of Natale and into the top left corner. Raffa won the face-off to give the Terrapins another possession, and they created a chance for Rambo but his side-armed shot went wide and Yale had the back-up.
Maryland kept up the pressure over the final few minutes of the quarter, as they started to assert themselves in possession. It paid off with 2:51 left, as Colin Heacock drove down the alley and played a great skip pass to the back door to Dylan Maltz, who shot faked and finished into the empty net to knot the score at 4-4.
That score stood for the remainder of the quarter, with Yale carrying about 20 seconds of an EMO into the second half.
Yale regained the lead early in Q3, as Eric Scott ripped a low-to-high shot past Bernlohr to make it 5-4 Bulldogs. Maryland had a long extended possession with just under 10 minutes left that lasted nearly 3 minutes before West got a step on a dodge and fired another bouncer past Natale to tie the game at 5-5.
The Terps forced a turnover quickly after the Yale face-off win and went back on offense, but Natale stopped West. After yet another turnover forced by the Terrapins, Rambo nearly put Maryland on top, as the ball squeaked through the five hole of Natale, but the ball stopped right on the line and the score remained at 5 all.
With 1:58 to go in the quarter, Conrad Oberbeck once again punished Maryland from GLE, beating his man and finishing past Bernlohr low in the corner, 6-5 Bulldogs. Due to a high hit on Oberbeck, Yale got a man up opportunity immediately after. They created space for an open shot, but Bernlohr made a big save.
This led to a final offensive opportunity of the quarter for the Terps, and with just 4 ticks left, Matt Rambo turned provider and sent a skip pass over to Maltz who fired one past Natale. Into the fourth quarter we went with the score tied.
Raffa was absent for all of the third quarter, leading to Jon Garino deputizing as FOGO. Raffa didn't appear to be suffering from the injury that kept him out of fall ball, so it's possible it was performance related.
Garino continued to stay in as FOGO in place of Raffa to start the fourth.
Both teams had chances to start the fourth, but the shots were easily telegraphed and saved by the respective goalies. There was no stopping a step-down shot from Colin Flaherty a few minutes later, as he sent a bullet to the roof of the net.
Yale remained in control for the next few minutes, getting multiple shots off, but none tested Bernlohr in the Maryland cage. Maryland took possession with eight minutes left, but after some slow passing around the perimeter threw it out of bounds, giving the ball back to Yale with less than seven minutes to go. The Elis extended the lead with 5:56 to go, as Michael Keasey fired a step down shot past Bernlohr.
Yale added another with 2:30 to go, and all but booked a win over the Terps. Yale added another insurance goal with less than a minute to go as Maryland pulled Bernlohr looking to force a turnover.
Final: Yale 10-6 Maryland
Maryland will return Tuesday to take on Drexel in their home opener.