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Maryland men’s lacrosse dominates High Point, 19-5, in home opener

This one got really ugly real fast.

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

Against Maryland men’s lacrosse’s suffocating defense, High Point never really stood a chance. In the Terps’ decisive home opening 19-5 rout, the defense forced a scoring drought that lasted nearly 17 minutes and included the entirety of the third quarter.

Senior Matt Rambo led the team with six points behind a hat trick and three assists, and he’s proved to be Maryland’s most versatile offensive player thus far.

The Panthers only had two good looks on goal in the first quarter, which they were able to convert on. Still, Maryland’s defense tormented High Point’s attack, forcing five turnovers in the first quarter alone and winning virtually every ground ball battle.

The unit outmuscled High Point every chance it had, which led to the attack going to work as expected. Austin Henningsen won the game’s opening face-off, strode downfield, and dumped it off to Matt Rambo for arguably the team’s easiest goal of the season. The Terps were up 1-0, and it only cost them seven seconds.

Things didn’t get much easier for the Panthers. While Maryland was busy shutting down the Panthers attack, seniors Matt Rambo and Dylan Maltz were orchestrating a 9-2 run to give the Terps a cushy 10-3 advantage by halftime.

The attack hit a wall coming out of halftime, but junior Connor Kelly kept the offense afloat. Kelly went top-shelf for his fifth goal on the season, and notched his sixth moments later off an extra-man opportunity.

Goals from Rambo, Maltz and Colin Heacock in the third quarter put the final nail in a coffin that had already been closed for quite some time, and the starting attack got to watch the rest of the game from the sideline.

Now 3-0 on the season, the Terps’ schedule toughens up considerably with games against Yale and Notre Dame in the coming weeks.

Three Things to Know

1. Maryland snagged almost every single ground ball. By the end of the first half, the Terps had snagged 23 ground balls to the Panthers’ eight. Every time the Panthers looked like they were getting into some sort of a rhythm, they’d get swarmed by either Tim Muller, Bryce Young or Curtis Corley, or even the entire trio. Maryland won a whopping 42 ground balls, more than doubling High Point’s total.

2. Face-off specialist Austin Henningsen didn’t break a sweat. Aside from his dominant 13-for-17 performance at the X, the sophomore was a major factor on offense. He notched his second goal of the season, and dished two assists in his three point performance.

3. John Tillman was able to empty his bench. Anytime you can get your freshmen and reserves some playing time, you know you’ve had a good day. By the start of the fourth quarter, Maryland’s starting attack had already been out of the game since the third quarter. Even transfer goalie Cameron Brosh saw some action in the cage, which could be valuable if starter Dan Morris suffers some unforeseen injury. With games against Yale and Notre Dame on the horizon, everyone will need as much rest as they can get.