In what ended up being a much closer game than many expected, Maryland men’s lacrosse squeaked past Richmond 10-9 on Saturday to move to 2-0 on the season.
Jared Bernhardt didn’t waste any time in his effort to make an impact on the game, scoring all five of his goals in the first half. Bubba Fairman scored twice, while Logan Wisnauskas followed a four-goal outing with one score and two assists. Anthony DeMaio and Steven Shollenberger also got on the scoreboard for Maryland.
The Maryland defense stifled Richmond’s attack for three quarters, holding them to 35 shots and 20 shots on goal. Things got tight towards the end of the fourth quarter once Richmond began taking advantage of EMOs, but the defense still finished out the game with six caused turnovers to Richmond’s two.
It was another strong performance by goalie Danny Dolan in his second game as a starter, following up his 11 save performance last week with 11 saves this week. Things got iffy towards the end of the fourth quarter during Richmond’s late push, but ultimately, the senior stood tall in the cage and made the saves necessary to get the win for Maryland.
As mentioned in this week’s preview, faceoffs were expected to be a point of difficulty for Richmond as they lost their primary faceoff specialist from last season in Garrett Smith. His presence was badly missed by the Spiders, as Austin Henningsen (15-of-15) and Justin Shockey (5-of-8) dominated at the faceoff X. Although Richmond is still trying to figure things out at the position, Henningsen and Shockey’s perfomances indicate that the two could be a strong 1-2 punch for John Tillman to rely on.
Bernhardt opened the scoring just 49 seconds into the game, and Fairman scored less than a minute and a half later. Richmond scored twice in the first quarter, but Maryland answered both times, taking a 4-2 lead into the second period. The Terps dominated in that frame, scoring the last three goals before halftime and leading 8-3 at the break.
It was looking like Maryland was going to walk to the finish line by the end of the third quarter, as goals by Wisnauskas and Shollenberger put the Terps up 10-4 with the game looking out of reach for Richmond. But a late run by the Spiders led by Ryan Lanchbury helped close the gap, scoring five unanswered goals to cut the lead to just one with 2:01 remaining. But a big faceoff win by Austin Henningsen gave Maryland the crucial possession they needed to hang on for the 10-9 win.
Maryland will be on the road next weekend, as the Terps travel up to Philadelphia to face Penn at 1 p.m. ET next Saturday.
Three things to know
1. Maryland survives national upset week. In a week that saw No. 2 Duke fall to High Point, No. 10 Syracuse fall to Colgate and No. 7 Johns Hopkins fall to Towson, it looked like Maryland could be headed towards the same fate. But the Terps held on for win and should maintain their status in NCAA rankings.
2. Just 10 goals on 47 shots. While Tillman can’t be too upset with his team reaching 10 goals, it really should’ve been more given how Maryland was playing. Of the Terps’ 47 shots, just 21 of them were on goal, a differential Tillman would ideally like to see thinned. They admittedly had some bad luck with a couple of shots that hit the pipe, but Maryland really could’ve kept this from becoming a possible upset by finishing some of those chances.
3. Austin Henningsen could have the edge at faceoff specialist. Henningsen has started each of the past two games for the Terps, but Tillman has stayed true to giving both Henningsen and Shockey looks at the X on a half-by-half basis. After Henningsen went a perfect 13-for-13 in the first half and Justin Shockey began to lose out on faceoffs late in the fourth, Tillman went back to Henningsen for the most important faceoff of the game. Shockey still went 5-for-8 on the day, but Henningsen might be who Tillman goes to when he needs a face-off win.