Maryland men's lacrosse dropped its 2015 NCAA Tournament rematch against Yale Saturday, 8-5, in front of a raucous road environment at Reese Stadium.
Colin Heacock led the Terps with two goals, and Matt Rambo notched a goal and tied his career high with three assists. Maryland's supporting cast, unfortunately, struggled offensively. Goalie Kyle Bernlohr, despite letting in seven goals, played excellent and kept Maryland in position to come back all game.
Maryland drew first blood off a blistering Connor Kelly shot, and it was evident the Terps' early-season jitters have come and gone. The offense completely controlled the tempo of the game from the start, but the Bulldogs stayed efficient with their possessions and kept the first quarter a tied affair at 2.
From the box score, the second half was uneventful to say the least. But to everyone present, it was a seat-rattling spectacle to watch. Colin Heacock torched sophomore goalie Phil Huffard from the outside seconds into the quarter, but the Terps were held scoreless the rest of the half. Meanwhile, Yale couldn't get its offense the ball long enough to establish a rhythm, all until the waning seconds of the half when Mark Clicini drove uncontested to the cage and equalized the game at 3-apiece. In between the scores was a potpourri of fast breaks, shots hitting the post, and chaotic play from both teams.
For Maryland to win, it would have to come on a game sealing defensive stand.
But the Bulldogs turned the tables after the half, taking their first lead of the game to start the third quarter and extending it to two. Maryland still had a small deficit to work back from entering the fourth quarter, but Yale laid on goal after goal and extended its largest lead of the game to five goals with as minutes ticked off the clock. Matt Rambo and Heacock notched two late goals in an attempt to mount a comeback, but it was too little and too late.
Three Things to Know:
1. Despite the scoreboard, Maryland's defense played great. High Point scored six first half goals in the Terps season opener, but Maryland held a top-10 Yale team to three in Bulldogs territory. The defense played its assignments close all day, but Maryland's offense provided absolutely zero room for error. Had the Terps been able to keep the score at a closer differential, pressure could've been taken off the defense and who knows what the outcome would've been.
2. The Terps are extremely lucky to have Kyle Bernlohr in goal. If not for Bernlohr, Maryland could've been out of this game much sooner. The reigning Markland Kelly Jr. Award winner did all he could to give the Terps a fighting chance, making seven saves with several jaw-dropping highlights as well.
3. The offense still needs work. Maryland mounted an impressive fourth quarter scoring run, but did so with minutes to play and down five goals. The Terps couldn't get anything working offensively the entire half, while Yale defended them looking to avenge their NCAA Tournament loss a season ago. Rambo, the 2015 goal leader, is now just 3-for-15 on the season and will need to be more efficient if the Terps hope to upset top ranked Notre Dame.