Maryland’s offense disappeared against Notre Dame, and the No. 4 Fighting Irish held on, 5-4 to deal the No. 1 Terps their first loss of the season.
Connor Kelly finished the day with two goals on five shots, but he was the lone bright spot on an offense that combined for its first single-digit scoring output of the season. Matt Rambo was uncharacteristically a non-factor, but recorded one assist and now has 44 straight games with a point.
Goalkeeper Dan Morris finished with a career-high 13 saves, and made countless saves to keep Maryland within striking distance.
In the first quarter, Maryland and Notre Dame locked each other down defensively to end the quarter scoreless. At this point, it had been longer than a half hour of combined gameplay since the Terps had netted a goal.
Senior Dylan Maltz broke that drought off a creative feed from Colin Heacock, and Maryland went up 1-0 after nearly 20 minutes of game play. But Notre Dame retaliated quickly with two straight goals from Ryder Garnesy and Brendan Gleason that would carry them into halftime with a 2-1 lead.
Two traditionally high-scoring offenses were stifled by two elite defenses, but the Fighting Irish could’ve opened up a much wider lead. Notre Dame’s attack hit the post on three separate occasions, and more than doubled the Terps in shots taken with 17 in the first half.
Despite the sloppy play, Maryland was still only down a goal to one of the best teams in the country.
Notre Dame had an answer for every Maryland goal, and never really let the Terps find the rhythm they wanted. Heacock netted a tough-angled sidewinder following an unsuccessful extra-man opportunity, but the Terps found themselves down again seconds later off another goal from Garnesy. Kelly notched his seventh goal of the season, and Bryan Constabile responded just 20 seconds later.
Kelly pulled the Terps within one goal with just 18 seconds left, but it proved too little, too late.
Three Things to Know
1. Dan Morris could have been the difference maker. The junior played his best game of the season, and it’s a shame it went down as the team’s first loss. The junior finished with a career-high 13 saves on the day, and would’ve been the difference maker had the Terps pulled out the win. He’s quelled any preseason suspicions about his abilities between the posts.
2. The defense, particularly Curtis Corley, played excellent. The defense similarly had its best performance of the season so far. Containing a high-scoring Notre Dame to just five goals is a remarkable feat, win or loss. Sophomore Curtis Corley hounded attackers all day, with three caused turnovers and two groundballs scooped. The unit gave Maryland all the opportunities to come back and take the lead, but the offense never really got going.
3. Maryland’s offense looks considerably different as of late. Maltz’s goal in the second quarter ended a scoring drought that extended all the way to the third quarter against Yale last week. Maryland scored a combined 50 goals in the first three games of the season, and now has just four in the last 75 minutes of game play. The most notable absence is the lack of a transition game, a key component in the Terps’ punishing offense earlier in the year. Maryland had to grind for all four of its goals today, and that’s not a recipe for tons of goals.