Fluctuating weather conditions, lightning delays and a late-game collapse weren’t enough to take down the Terps, as Maryland men’s lacrosse narrowly edged Yale, 12-11, to remain undefeated on the season.
Senior Matt Rambo continued his climb atop the program leaderboard. With two goals and an assist, he’s now tied for seventh all-time in points in program history. He started the day 10th on that list, and is now just 39 points away from the program record. Colin Heacock hit a milestone too, reaching 100 career points behind his hat trick and two assists.
Defensive leader and senior Tim Muller, who came into the game with just one recorded shot in his collegiate career, netted his first career goal off a feed from Connor Kelly in the first quarter.
Yale’s Conor Mackie beat out Austin Henningsen on the game’s opening faceoff, and Eric Scott put the Bulldogs up on the ensuing possession. Mackie dominated Henningsen the entire first quarter, going 4-for-4 at the X before Will Bonaparte stepped in to change up the pace. Bonaparte didn’t fare too well either, going just 1-for-3 against Mackie.
Still, Maryland’s offense was somehow able to jell. Freshman Jared Bernhardt scored on an extra-man opportunity, and a three-goal, three-minute run put the Terps up 5-2. Considering Maryland went 1-for-8 at the X and still managed to outscore the Bulldogs, it was one of the Terps’ most well-executed quarters of the season.
Both offenses stalled considerably in the second quarter, but Heacock kept the Terps afloat. With a stall warning in place, Heacock sent an unstoppable rocket past Yale’s Phil Huffard. Minutes later with a defender painted on him, Heacock torqued his body over the defender’s shoulders while falling away to complete his 12th career hat trick.
The Terps went up 11-5 in the third quarter, but as rain started to pour in College Park, the Bulldogs offense came alive. Huffard made multiple highlight-worthy saves, and Yale mounted a 6-1 scoring run to make it a one-goal game.
Scott, who scored the game’s opening goal, finished the day with five and kept the Bulldogs alive when Maryland had them dead to rights. Jackson Morrill, coming off an impressive freshman debut last week, ignited the run and finished with two goals on the day.
With the sky falling on Maryland’s lead, an unexpected thunderstorm halted the Bulldogs’ momentum, leading to a 34-minute delay with just four minutes to play in the fourth.
When the teams took back to the field, Yale maintained possession with a chance to equalize it. Tillman’s defense forced a stall warning, and the Bulldogs were unable to convert on the most important possession of the game.
The Bulldogs’ run was just too little too late, and Maryland looked like it would escape with a win in the game’s waning seconds.
Then, with 37 seconds left to play, a second lightning delay was enforced, as a black sky blanketed Maryland Stadium.
Another lightening delay with 37 on the clock..... still 12-11 Terps #GoTerps #BetheBest pic.twitter.com/pQB1iL5ixo— The Pit (@ThePitUMD) February 25, 2017
When the teams finally returned, all Maryland had to do was run out the clock. But Yale still didn’t go down easy. A stick check at midfield gave the Bulldogs possession with nine seconds on the clock, with a chance to force overtime. Joseph Sessa’s last-second shot soared high over goalkeeper Dan Morris’ head, and the Terps hung on.
Three Things to Know
1. Face-offs eventually corrected themselves. Had Maryland continued its poor play at the X, the outcome could have easily been different. Despite a disastrous start to the game, the “Hawg Pen” turned it around to finish 15-for-27. Henningsen notched two goals right from faceoffs in the third quarter, marking an all-around productive outing for the unit as well as the first two-goal game of his career.
2. The defense faltered late, but the offense didn’t help either. Maryland’s defense may have allowed a 6-1 scoring run, but the lack of production from the offense shouldn’t be overlooked either. Had the Terps been able to score one or two more goals, this game could’ve been iced a lot earlier.
3. Could a lightning delay have come at a better time? Nothing was going right for the Terps, and then the first lightning delay completely halted the Bulldogs’ momentum. They had backed Maryland into a corner, and had their rhythm interrupted in a moment’s notice.