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Maryland men’s lacrosse defeats Navy, 15-12, in season opener

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The Terps haven’t lost a season opener since 1994.

NCAA Lacrosse: National Championship-North Carolina vs Maryland Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland men’s lacrosse kept alive a 23-year season-opener winning streak, defeating Navy 15-12 at Memorial Stadium to start the season 1-0.

Senior Matt Rambo, who led the team in scoring last year, led the Terps with six points and is now just 38 goals away from breaking Maryland’s all-time scoring record.

Face-off specialist Austin Henningsen wasted no time igniting Maryland’s offense, winning the opening face-off and rolling alone to the cage to give the Terps a 1-0 lead just seven seconds into the play.

Navy responded within the minute, as Ryan Wade beat defensive maestro Tim Muller to take an early 2-1 lead. After an early offensive lull following Henningsen’s goal, Maryland’s Connor Kelly and Dylan Maltz scored back-to-back to bring the Terps back up 3-2.

The Terps had plenty of opportunities to really open things up against the Midshipmen, but first-game rust got the better of numerous would-be goals. A wasted extra man opportunity and some dropped passes kept Navy in contention, as the teams battled back and forth to notch it up at what looked to be 5-5 going into halftime.

But freshman Jared Bernhardt scored his first collegiate goal exactly how you would’ve expected: rolling from midfield with 10 seconds left in the half to fake out Navy’s Ryan Kern and score with 0.1 seconds left on the clock, giving Maryland a 6-5 lead going into the third quarter.

Thanks to some impressive ball movement and dynamic playmaking from Rambo, Maryland exploded for an electrifying four-goal run to start the third quarter, with goals coming from Kelly, Maltz, Colin Heacock and long pole Nick Brozowski.

The attack seems to excel at the unconventional “crazy goal before the buzzer” style of offense, with Heacock scoring a diving between-the-legs goal with five seconds left in the third.

After two beautiful looks from Rambo and a top-shelf rocket from Maltz to start the fourth quarter, Maryland put away a top-10 team in convincing fashion.

Three things to know

  1. This is a great forecast for the rest of the season. This is probably one of the toughest opening games the Terps have played in recent memory. Even for the nation’s No. 2 team, opening up against a top-10 team in their home stadium is by no means a cake walk. This time last year, Maryland struggled offensively against ranked opponents. After scoring 15 goals against a stout defense, those problems appear to be long gone.
  2. Dan Morris played phenomenally. Years of backing up Kyle Bernlohr have definitely paid dividends for the new starting goalie. It wasn’t a perfect game by Morris by any means, but he gave his offense the luxury of not having to play with a deficit. He made countless foot saves, stood tall and looked like a natural leader in goal.
  3. Numbers 1 and 2 on the field, and best friends off it. The 1-2 connection of Rambo and Heacock is going to be wildly entertaining to watch this season. The duo combined for 11 points, playing off each other perfectly for multiple highlight-worthy feeds and finishes.