Maryland men's lacrosse advanced to its third straight national semifinal after beating Syracuse, 13-7, on Saturday afternoon in Providence, Rhode Island. Matt Rambo had a six-point game, Kyle Bernlohr made a career-high 16 saves and Bryan Cole had four assists to lead the Terrapins. Pat Young added four goals in a career game for the senior middie.
Maryland got it going after quickly falling behind 1-0. Connor Kelly's goal with 4:04 left in the first quarter made it 3-1 in favor of the Terrapins. Tim Rotanz followed that up with a beautiful feed to Dylan Maltz off a pick play with 2:23 left in the quarter. The Terps led 4-1 after the first 15 minutes. Maltz added another two goals in the second quarter to pick up a hat trick against his former team. Rambo's diving score with 1:04 left in the half gave him two goals and two assists in the game's first 30 minutes. Those points moved him into sole possession of 20th place on the Maryland all-time points list and into a tie for 10th with Dave Dempsey on the Maryland all-time goals list.
Kyle Bernlohr was locked in during the first half. The defending national goalie of the year made eight saves in the first 30 minutes. Outside of a bad break where a ground ball went right to a Syracuse player when Bernlohr was caught out of the net, the senior goalie was superb.
Despite trailing the Orange in shots, 21-15, groundballs, 19-10, and draw controls, 8-4, the Terps still led at the half, 7-3.
Maryland and Syracuse traded goals in the third quarter. Matt Rambo picked up a hat trick with 6:01 left in the quarter, staking the Terrapins to a 9-5 lead. The Terps led 9-6 going into the fourth and final quarter.
When Rambo wasn't scoring, he was finding teammates for good looks. Every time Syracuse would score a goal, Maryland would respond. Every time the Orange would try to make a run, Bernlohr would deny them. The two best players on the field on Saturday afternoon wore Maryland white and red.
Rambo finished with four goals and two assists. His six points gave him sole possession of 18th place on the Maryland all-time points list and his four goals put him in a tie for 9th place on the all-time goals list. Cole's brilliance was understated and underrated, but critical to the team's success. His fourth assist of the game went to Connor Kelly in the middle of the Syracuse defense. Kelly's extra-man goal was a back-breaker with 5:45 left in the game to give Maryland a 12-7 lead. Bernlohr finished with a career-high 16 saves and allowed only seven goals.
This team still has issues to address going into the Final Four next week in Philadelphia.
That being said, the Terps have a lot going right for them as well. Their stout defense smothered yet another top-10 offense and the offense shows no signs of stopping. The offense has typically been balanced, but four players shouldered the entire scoring load for Maryland on Saturday afternoon. Rambo and Young each had four goals, Maltz had three and Kelly had two.
Bernlohr was about as good as it gets in goal. His 16 saves weren't easy ones, and did a fantastic job coordinating and commanding the Maryland defense against a dangerous Syracuse offense.
Matt Rambo and Kyle Bernlohr. Great offense and great defense. Top-seeded Maryland is heading to the Final Four for the third straight year.