Coming off their tough 10-6 loss to Yale in what was a chance for a real quality W, the tests for Maryland didn't get any easier. They welcomed the #11 Penn to College Park for their first home game of the season. And if they were to get their first big win of the season, they'd need to put in a complete effort. Fortunately they did that, topping the Quakers
Jon Garino took the opening face-off for the Terps and after a lengthy fight for it won it to give Maryland the opening possession of the game. They took advantage of it as Bryan Cole took a groundball from behind the cage and drove to the front and slotted home to put Maryland up 1-0. Just 3 minutes later, after a Penn penalty for pushing, Matt Rambo ripped a low dart past Jimmy Sestilio in the Penn cage to make it 2-0 Terps with 10:26 left in the quarter.
The strong offensive play continued for the Terps, as Joe LoCascio drove down the left alley and ripped one to the far corner to make it 3-0 Terps. Penn won the ensuing face-off and drew a penalty, earning themselves their first Extra Man Opportunity of the game. The Quakers cashed in on the advantage as Joe McCallion fired a dart from way downtown past Kyle Bernlohr and got Penn on the board. It looked like Maryland had responded just minutes later, with Jay Carlson doing Jay Carlson things - picking up loose balls and "garbage" in front and depositing them in the net - but he stepped in the crease and the goal was called off.
On the following possession Penn scored in nearly identical fashion to their first goal, with McCallion sending a step down bullet into the roof of the net and cutting the Terps lead to 1. It wouldn't be long till Carlson did respond to a McCallion snipe however, as the Terps top four offensive threats combined to grab Maryland's 4th. Rambo, LoCascio and Henry West moved the ball around the perimeter and West sent the final pass to Carlson who peeled off his marker and stuck one into the bottom corner past Sestilio to put UMD up 4-2.
The back and forth scoring would go on however, as Reilly Hupfeldt converted a turn around jump shot from the left alley that somehow snuck past Bernlohr with just 41 ticks left in Quarter 2.
After an exciting, end to end quarter, Maryland led Penn 4-3.
The beginning to the second quarter was perhaps the polar opposite to the 1st. Both teams had multiple possessions and a few shots here and there, but none of any significant quality.
Eventually the Terps started to establish themselves midway through the 2nd, but Sestilio was there to deny them. Carlson followed up a rebound in front before the Penn goalie made a big save and after Maryland earned a 30 second Man Up opportunity, Sestilio again stopped two quality West efforts. The second save led to an unsettled situation and and a fast moving Penn counter attack which saw Berlohr make an INCREDIBLE save from point blank rage to keep the Terps in front.
Wouldn't be long before UMD made their goalies save worthwhile, as Matt Rambo ripped a side-arm effort from a tight angle off a pipe and notched Maryland's 5th. Much like the back and forth nature of the first though, Kevin McGeary responded a few minutes later for Penn, shooting past Bernlohr after a right alley dodge.
A tough and physical 2nd Quarter ended with just 2 tallies, and Maryland led Penn at HT 5-4.
Some facets of play which plagued Maryland on Saturday vs Yale were noticeably improved in the second half. The Terrapins were 8-of-11 on face-offs and owned a 20-5 edge in groundballs.
Penn made a goalie change at half-time, bringing in John Lopes.
Maryland drew first blood in the second half, as Rambo set up Carlson beautifully and he calmly slotted past Lopes. They continued to keep up the pressure and control the game, with a few shots going wide and one hitting a pipe. After a great effort to win a groundball at midfield, Maryland quickly broke and took advantage of the unsettled situation with Henry West sniping one past Lopes at 9:20 of the second. 7-4 Terps.
After another face-off win the 8th of the night for UMD came just a minute later. Rambo got a step from behind the cage and slipped one short side to get his hat trick and give Maryland their largest lead of the game. The onslaught continued, with no one bothering to mark Dylan Maltz behind the cage. He comfortably drove towards the net and had an easy finish. 9-4 Terps and they had hardly been tested in Q3.
Penn finally started to get some momentum going late in the 3rd Quarter, and while they weren't able to get past Kyle Berlohr in settled situations, they were able to pounce on a Maryland turnover courtesy of Chris Hupfeldt and finally get on the board in the quarter. With 3:32 left in Q3, the Terps led by 4. Nearly immediately after the Quakers got themselves an EMO, but Maryland's defense remained stout and easily killed of the penalty.
With just 6 ticks left in the quarter the Terps stretched the lead back to 5, with Cole sending a terrific feed to Maltz on the doorstep who notched his 2nd goal of the game.
With 3 quarters played, Maryland led Penn 10-5.
Penn held slightly more of the play to begin the 4th Quarter, testing Kyle Bernlohr on a few occasions. Maryland's tight and deep defense gave them no alleyways to find open shots though, and the Quakers remained stifled. Penn would get a crucial EMO after some of their pressure and despite throwing the ball away they again found success counter attacking, with McCallion getting his hat trick on a patented deep bomb.
Maryland's offense was a bit careless on the few opportunities they had throughout the beginning of the final frame, but their defense was so stout they weren't hampered by it.
Penn cut the lead down to 3 with 4:32 left after McCallion received a great cross-crease feed and finished at the back door. The 11th of the night for Maryland finally came at a much needed time, as LoCascio scored on a vintage ferocious shot after a strong alley dodge.
That would be how the game finished, with #10 Maryland beating #11 Penn 11-7
This was a very strong all around game by the Terps. The defense was it's usual strong self and the offense showed some great ball movement and individual efforts. This team will take time to gel and come together, but they're taking some good steps.
Maryland returns Saturday at home vs Drexel, another Philly school.