In a game between two former ACC rivals, Maryland men’s lacrosse handled No. 19 North Carolina on Saturday, winning 16-9 in College Park.
The No. 4 Terps utilized a very balanced offensive attack in this one, with four different players finishing with hat tricks. Logan Wisnauskas and Anthony DeMaio each had career days, as Wisnauskas finished with four goals and four assists for a career-high eight points, while Anthony DeMaio had his first career hat trick, scoring four goals and adding an assist. Jared Bernhardt and Louis Dubick both had three goals, with North Carolina’s Timmy Kelly scoring four for the Tar Heels.
Maryland dominated a good Carolina defense, outshooting the Heels 38-33, while putting two more shots on goal with 23 compared to UNC’s 21. Both teams finished with close to the same amount of ground balls, as the Terps narrowly edged the Tar Heels 24-23, but the difference in the game came at the faceoff X, with Austin Henningsen and Justin Shockey combining to win 22 of 29 draws.
It was a sloppy start to the game for both sides, as neither team could string together a clean offensive possession early on. DeMaio came out firing, though, connecting on three goals in the first period for the first hat trick of his career. Two goals from UNC’s Timmy Kelly kept the Tar Heels close, but a goal from Wisnauskas in the final seconds gave Maryland a 4-2 lead after one.
The Terps’ offense began to heat up in the second, scoring four unanswered goals in the first five minutes of the quarter. Fueling that run was some stellar play from Austin Henningsen at the faceoff X, winning eight out of nine face offs during the period. Aiding in the effort as well was senior goalie Danny Dolan, who, as he has all season, stonewalled nearly all attempts made on goal by the Tar Heels. Maryland finished the quarter with seven goals to just one for North Carolina, giving them a commanding 11-3 lead to end the half.
North Carolina came out in the second half desperate for a comeback with an eight-goal deficit looming, with the Terps doing all they could to prevent that from happening. Despite UNC moving its best starting close defender Jack Rowlett to the faceoff wing, Henningsen continued his dominance on faceoffs by winning seven of eight in the quarter. Both teams traded goals for the most part, with Maryland getting goals from Dubick, Bernhardt, Wisnauskas and Long to put its advantage at 15-6 entering the final frame.
Maryland appeared to take its foot off the gas a bit into the fourth quarter, using nearly the entirety of the shot clock with each possession they had. North Carolina maintained its intensity, scoring three unanswered to make it 15-9. But the Tar Heels wouldn’t get closer than that, and DeMaio added another goal in the final minutes for good measure.
Maryland’s next game comes against the top team in the country, as Penn State travels to College Park to face the Terps in a top-five matchup.
Three Things to Know
- It was a great defensive day for the Terps. Entering this game, the scouting report on North Carolina was that the Heels had so many different goal scorers capable doing damage offensively. With seven players that had scored nine of more goals this season, only three of those players scored today, with only Timmy Kelly really finding his shot. This string of strong performances bodes well for the Terps as they face the hottest scoring team in the country next weekend.
- Maryland has scored 13+ goals in five straight games. The Terps attack and midfield units are really in a groove offensively right now. Maryland has adjusted quite well to the new shot clock rule as the season has gone on, and will have to maintain that level of success to hang with teams like Penn State.
- Some marginal improvement for the man-up group. While the numbers won’t show it because the Terps basically sat on the ball for most of their EMOs in the fourth quarter, Maryland’s extra man unit saw some success today. They went 2-3 in the second quarter to extend what was becoming a large lead, possibly creating a little bit of momentum for a group that has been surprisingly poor for most of this season.