Maryland men’s lacrosse will end its packed start to the regular season Wednesday against Penn.
It will be the fourth game the Terps have played in the last 12 days, and the last game before Notre Dame comes to town 10 days later. Starting then, Maryland will play one game a week the rest of the season.
The Terps are off to a 3-0 start, and had a close call in their last game against High Point, holding off the Panthers 16-14. Jared Bernhardt and Connor Kelly led the team with four goals each, and Tim Rotanz had a career-high six points with three goals and three assists.
Penn received votes in the most recent Inside Lacrosse poll, and is coming off a season-opening 12-9 win at Michigan on Saturday. The Quakers have been a middle-of-the-pack Ivy League team in recent years, but are known for playing tough schedules. 2018 is no exception, as they will host No. 1 Duke and No. 15 Penn State after traveling to College Park.
Maryland is 12-0 all-time against Penn, including 2-0 under John Tillman. The first faceoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. ET, and the game will be streamed on BTN Plus.
Penn Quakers (1-0)
2017 record: 7-6, 3-3 Ivy League
Head coach Mike Murphy has led Penn to two NCAA tournaments in nine seasons as the Quakers head coach. He’s gone 56-54 at Penn, and was an assistant coach at the school in 2001 and 2002.
Players to know
Junior attacker Simon Mathias, No. 45. Mathias led Penn in goals (28), assists (20) and points (48) and was second team All-Ivy last year. He had a hat trick against the Wolverines, including the goal to put the Quakers ahead for good in the second quarter.
Senior midfielder Kevin McGeary, No. 4. McGeary’s 23 goals, 12 assists and 35 points were second on Penn last season. He had four goals and one assists on a team-high nine shots against Michigan.
Senior defender Connor Keating, No. 41. Although he is listed as a defender, Keating primarily spends time at long-stick midfielder. He was crucial in wing play on faceoffs last year, finishing with a team-high 61 groundballs. USILA named Keating a third team preseason All-American.
Converting shots on goal. The Quakers turned 17 shots on goal into 12 goals, converting a ridiculous 71 percent of its opportunities. But 17 shots on goal is not a lot, especially for a Maryland team that can score quickly and in bunches.
Faceoffs. Penn struggled at the X against Michigan, going just 9-23. Chris Santangelo, who won a respectable 53 percent of faceoff last year, went just 8-18 on Sunday.
Three things to watch
- Can Maryland keep up the intensity for a full 60 minutes? Maryland’s motto is “Be the Best,” but that certainly wasn’t how it played starting at the end of the second quarter against High Point. The Terps couldn’t put away the Panthers, and scored just enough to escape with a narrow win.
- Will the defense return to form? Maryland gave up more games against High Point than it did in its first two games. The Panthers were able to get by the Terps’ defenders for close shots, as well as find windows when the ball wasn’t near the crease.
- Does Austin Henningsen find consistency at faceoff? The junior has had a subpar, excellent and average game at the X this year. Santangelo has been a decent faceoff man for the past three years, so having a good day Wednesday would give him confidence against tougher players.