No. 8 Maryland gives men’s lacrosse more than it can handle

Mitchell Berrang

On a rainy Saturday, No. 15 Villanova hosted No. 8 Maryland in a highly anticipated afternoon matchup. Villanova was riding an impressive five-game winning streak, while Maryland was coming off of two strong performances, winning by an average of eight goals in its previous two games. Unfortunately for Villanova, Maryland continued their winning trend by defeating the Wildcats 11 – 2. 

Midfielders Henry West and Bryan Cole each registered early unassisted goals, which helped the Terrapins quickly jump ahead, 2–0, by the 12:30 mark in the first quarter. 

Villanova answered with Wildcat midfielder Sean Cerrone’s unassisted goal. Cerrone leads the team in assists this season but took it upon himself to get the Wildcats on the scoreboard.

Although Cerrone’s goal hinted at a potential Wildcat run, Maryland dominated the first quarter. Terrapin attackman Colin Heacock scored a goal, while Jay Carlson notched in two goals to extend Maryland’s lead to 5–1 by the end of the quarter. Villanova did manage a strong offensive possession in the final two minutes of the quarter but failed to convert the possession into goals. 

The second quarter got underway similar to the first quarter. Maryland continued to find success, which could be attributed to its consistent face-off wins and stingy defensemen. 

Villanova’s offense was critically disrupted by the Terrapins physical defensemen, who relentlessly checked any Villanova player who attempted to dodge to the net. 

Maryland shut Villanova out in the second quarter and scored three goals to take an 8-1 lead into halftime. 

The third quarter began with a hopeful chance at a comeback for the Wildcats as midfielder Eric Gartner converted a quick goal off the clear at the 13:04 mark. 

However, the third quarter was more back and forth play until Maryland responded with a goal by Matt Rambo at the 5:02 mark. The third quarter ended with the Terrapins holding a commanding 9 – 2 lead. 

The final quarter was relatively quiet for the Wildcats. Villanova had sound offensive possessions, but the shots were not there. Maryland’s Rambo completed his hat trick by scoring his third goal in the game’s closing minutes. 

The Terrapins added one more goal in the final minute of the game to finish off their nine-goal defeat of the Wildcats.

This outing was uncharacteristic for the Wildcats, who average 10 goals per game and on average hold opponents to eight goals per game. Their offense could not flourish under the pressure applied by Maryland’s defensemen. 

Goalie Kyle Bernlohr saved nine out of the 11 shots on goal for Maryland.  

Villanova’s Dan Willis played a solid second half in goal with six saves out of the nine shots on goal.

The Wildcats return to action this Saturday, when they travel to Connecticut to take on Fairfield. Face-off will be at 5:30 p.m.