On a day where the wind whistled across Maryland Stadium, Maryland men’s lacrosse did not breeze by Notre Dame, but bested the Irish for a hard-fought 12-10 win.
Connor Kelly put on an offensive clinic, scoring three goals with a career-high seven assists. His 10 points are the most for a Maryland player since Bob Boniello scored 13 in 1979, and only he and Mike Chanenchuk have recorded nine points or more since. Jared Bernhardt had his third hat trick of the year, finishing with three goals and an assist, and Adam DiMillo and Logan Wisnauskas added two goals each.
While Maryland’s top two scorers had big days, Notre Dame’s top two were barely heard from. Leading scorer Bryan Costabile recorded just three shots, and Brendan Gleason didn’t even got off one. Ryder Garnsey stepped up in their place and finished with a season-high five points with four goals and one assist.
The Terps’ (5-0) defense had some holes, and although Morris had just nine saves on 19 attempts, many came at close range.
After scoring just four goals against Notre Dame (2-1) last year, Maryland matched that mark in a little more than nine minutes Saturday.
Bernhardt started the scoring with one right in front of the goal on the extra-man opportunity with 13:21 to go in the first quarter, and DiMillo added another less than a minute later when he picked up a ground ball after Kelly’s shot was saved. The Fighting Irish answered back, with Mikey Wynne getting them on the board with 10:51 remaining in the quarter. Thirty-eight seconds later, Brian Willets got around Curtis Corley and fired one past Morris to tie the game.
After that, it was the Connor Kelly show for the rest of the first half. The senior scored an over-the-shoulder goal 7:49 left in the first quarter, and then put a 15-yard rocket past goalie Matt Schmidt less than two minutes later.
Ryder Garnsey scored on a man-up opportunity to begin the second quarter, but the Kelly show resumed after that. He found Bernhardt on the left side of the goal, and the sophomore faked, spun around his defender and scored. He then found a charging Colin Giblin, who fired a BB past Schmidt.
Garnsey and Byrne scored to stop Kelly from wreaking havoc and cut into Maryland’s lead, but the senior would get the last laugh before the end of the half. With the shot clock winding down, he fired a cross-field pass to DiMillo, who scored. He still wasn’t done. Right before the half, Bernhardt ran like he was going to goal, but found Kelly, who bounced one from 15 yards out as the horn went off to give Maryland an 8-5 lead at the break.
After matching his career high with four assists in the first half, Kelly matched his career high in points when he found Wisnauskas on the right side for his fifth assist and eighth point of the day. Tim Rotanz decided to get in on the action too, dodging his man and scoring to give the Terps a 10-6 lead, their largest of the game.
Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan pulled Schmidt for Owen Molloy, who did a much better job stopping Maryland’s offense.
Garnsey found Willets on a touch pass with less than a minute to go in the third quarter, then Garnsey got his first hat trick of the year off a Maryland turnover with 12:40 to go in the final frame to cut the lead to two. Bernhardt answered back off a pass from Kelly, and after Garnsey responded, Wisnauskas scored off a pass from Kelly to give the Terps enough breathing room to stave off a late push by Notre Dame.
The Terps now have a week off before the title defense continues next Saturday back at home against Albany on BTN at noon.
Three things to know
- Maryland passed its first test of the season. It was obvious early that this would be the Terps’ toughest and most physical opponent so far this season. Maryland didn’t play a perfect game, but executed well enough to come away with a hard-earned win.
- Connor Kelly was ridiculous. The senior played his best game of the year against Maryland’s best opponent so far. Not only did he have three impressive goals, he showed great vision from all points of the field.
- Justin Shockey had another strong day on faceoffs. The freshman took a shot after winning the game’s first faceoff, but recovered to win 14-of-21 the rest of the way. He has a huge test next week against Albany’s TD Ierlan, who might be the best faceoff man in the country not named Trevor Baptiste.