Maryland Uses First Quarter Offensive Explosion to Push Past Mids
April 8, 2011
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Anchored by back-to-back goals by starting midfielder Jake Bernhardt, the Maryland men’s lacrosse team (8-2) outscored Navy (4-7) 6-1 in the opening quarter and never looked back, as the Terps earned a 10-4 victory over the Midshipmen on a soggy Friday evening at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis.
The Terrapins scored four goals in the opening five minutes of the contest, while surrendering just one goal to the Midshipmen over the first 23-plus minutes of action.
Maryland senior attackman Ryan Young got the evening started by running behind the right side of the cage and sticking his lefty shot past Navy keeper RJ Wickham (Penn Yan, N.Y.) just two minutes into the contest. Wickham was hung out to dry after Young got a step on defenseman Michael Hirsch (Schwenksville, Pa.) and nobody was there to slide for Navy. A little more than a minute later, junior middie Joe Cummings targeted his eight-yarder on the run from the right wing to give Maryland a 2-0 advantage.
Navy trimmed the lead to one when sophomore midfielder Jay Mann (Cockeysville, Md.) fired his shot top shelf from roughly 10 yards out with 11:27 to go.
However, Maryland countered by scoring back-to-back goals just 48 seconds apart (10:55, 10:07) to push ahead, 4-1. By quarter’s end, the Terps had built a 6-1 advantage with goals at 3:26 (Bernhardt) and 3:14 (Grant Catalino) and Navy was left to fight its way out of a huge hole.
Maryland dominated the opening quarter, holding a 14-3 advantage in shots and a 12-5 lead in ground balls while the Terps won six of the eight draws.
“Maryland came out ready to play Navy, but unfortunately Navy was 10 minutes late for the game,” said Navy head coach Richie Meade. “Once we settled down, it was a pretty good game. If you look at the stas, it was basically the first 10 minutes that put us in a hole that we just could not climb out of.”
“They came at us in the first quarter,” added Wickham, a 2010 Honorable Mention All-American. “If you take away the first eight minutes or so, we’re in the game. I thought we played pretty well defensively after that stretch. It was 6-1 in their favor after the first quarter, but for the rest of the game it was 4-3.”
After better than 18 scoreless minutes, Navy finally got on the board at the 6:30 mark in the second quarter when junior middie Nikk Davis (Cockeysville, Md.) made the hockey assist from the top of the box, passing off to defensive middie Marty Gallagher (Wayne, Pa.) who then made the extra pass to freshman attackman Tucker Hull (Charlotte, N.C.). Hull punched in the transition goal from three yards out, becoming the second Navy rookie this season to reach 20 goals.
The Mids had little time to celebrate, however, as Maryland sophomore faceoff man Curtis Holmes won the ensuing draw and promptly passed off to senior long pole Brian Farrell who fired in his shot from 15 yards out in what would be his first of two goals on the evening. The Terps carried the 7-2 lead into the locker room at half.
Maryland opened up the second half with second-year attackman Owen Blye bouncing in an eight-yarder to give the Terps a six-goal advantage.
Navy answered with 3:14 remaining in the third quarter when Gallagher once again got into the mix on transition and found freshman attackman Harrison Chaires (Ellitcott City, Md.) for the low-to-low seven-yarder. For Chaires, it marked just his third goal of the year that was not scored on extra-man. Meanwhile, Gallagher, who came into the contest with zero points on the year, turned in his second assist of the evening to help the Mids close to within five.
The Terps scored two quick goals in the first three-plus minutes, including Farrell’s second goal that was generated by an errant pass by Mann just over a minute into the final stanza. Blye punched in his second goal of the game at the 12:15 mark to give Maryland it largest lead of the game at 10-3.
The Mids managed to put up one more goal in the game on a beauty by freshman Sam Jones (Annapolis, Md.). Senior midfielder Andy Warner (Corning, N.Y.) split the middle and saw Jones cutting in from the left wing, finding him on the doorstep for Jones’ team-best 22nd goal of the 2011 campaign.
The second half stats ended in the Mids’ favor for the most part, as Navy outshot the Terps 25-12 and owned a 5-2 advanage in the faceoff game.
“Maryland’s defense did a very good job against us the whole night and forced us into some turnovers,” added Meade. “Honestly a lot of our mistakes on the other end of the field led to their possessions and to a handful of goals that we shouldn’t have given up.”
The evening began on an emotional note with both sidelines coming together and honoring Lt. Brendan Looney, a 2004 graduate of the Naval Academy and former Navy lacrosse player who was one of nine servicemen killed in a helicopter accident last September. James Smith, Executive Director of the Navy Special Warfare Foundation, presented the Looney family with a flag, donated by the Governor of Texas, for their son’s ultimate sacrifice.
Additionally, Friday’s contest marked the first time longtime Navy assistant coach John Tillman would stand on the opposite sideline, guiding an opposing team. Tillman spent 12 years in Annapolis as a part of Meade’s coaching staff and in his first season at Maryland, he has led the Terps to an 8-2 record and a No. 7 national ranking.
Next up on the docket is an April 16 date with arch rival Army in Annapolis. Next Saturday’s contest is slated to be played at 2:00 pm at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and will be televised live by CBS Sports Network with Dave Ryan and Matt Danowski calling the action.
“I’m not going to diminish the meaning of the Army-Navy game and break it down into whether it’s a playoff spot for us in a few weeks. To me, it’s the Army-Navy game. It’s our biggest rival, our biggest game of the year. We’ve got to go out there and get a win.”
### Go Navy ###