May 3, 2014
COLLEGE PARK, Md. — The eighth-ranked Maryland men’s lacrosse team (11-3) jumped out to a 6-1 lead and never looked back as the Terps scored a 12-6 victory over the Mids (4-10) Saturday afternoon at Byrd Stadium in College Park. The game marked the end of the careers of 13 Navy seniors, who all stepped onto the field for a final time together.
The Terps took the early lead when senior long pole Michael Ehrhardt forced a Navy turnover in a timer-on situation and fed defenseman Casey Ikeda for the transition goal at 12:07.
Navy, though, evened the game just over a minute later when senior midfielder Sean Price (Millersville, Md.) threw the ball to classmate Tucker Hull (Charlotte, N.C.) who was cutting up the middle for a two-yard strike.
At the 9:11 mark, Maryland rookie attackman Connor Cannizzaro scored the go-ahead goal and sparked a 5-0 run by the Terps when he faked his defender to the right and quickly dodged to the left, scoring from eight yards out.
Navy could not get a break during the run, as an initial save by John Connors (Bellmore, N.Y.) off a Henry West shot rolled back into play and was gobbled up by Jay Carlson who put the Terps up 3-1. Meanwhile, senior long pole Pat Kiernan (Ridgewood, N.J.) nearly intercepted a Matt Rambo pass, but instead it was tipped into the stick of Joe LoCascio who tossed it into the net just over a minute into the second quarter to give Maryland a 6-1 advantage.
The Mids began to climb back into the game when senior Sam Jones (Annapolis, Md.) made a tough pass that looped up and over his defenseman on the left wing and found sophomore attackman T.J. Hanzsche (Berwyn, Pa.) on the opposite crease at the 11:56 mark.
Maryland answered a minute later when Connors again made a spectacular save, but the Mids were unable to come up with the ground ball and Carlson was once again Johnny on the Spot and scored for a second time.
Navy trimmed the lead to three (7-4) by the end of the half when first Hull drew the defense behind the cage and Kiernan filled the middle to post his 13th-collegiate goal and then Hull took his defender one on one and sent his overhand crank shot to the top left-hand corner.
The Terps scored two in a row to open the third quarter, including a goal by faceoff specialist Charlie Raffa just 15 seconds into the half, to extend their lead to five (9-4).
The Mids, however, continued to fight as senior middie Pat Durkin (Germantown, Md.) sank a tough lefty shot while on the run from the left wing and classmate Austin Heneveld (East Hampton, N.Y.) circled from behind the cage before getting his hands free and rippling the next from seven yards to again draw Navy to within three (9-6) with just under nine minutes to go.
Turnovers (5) and a few offensive possessions limited Navy to just two shots in the final 15 minutes of play, as Maryland scored the final three goals of the game, including a pair of empty net goals with under one minute to go, to secure the 12-6 win.
Nine different players scored for the Terps, including Rambo and Carlson who finished with three points on two goals and an assist.
“Maryland is a good team, in fact they might be the best team we’ve played all year,” said third-year Navy head coach Rick Sowell. “You just can’t spot them 6-1 to start the game. I give our guys a lot of credit, though. We could have laid down and let them roll all over us, but we battled back. This team has always shown fight.
“You know it may not reflect it in the win/loss column, but there’s a lot we accomplished this season and it starts with the commitment of our seniors. I just can’t say enough good things about them. Our team is going to find some success down the road and they are going to know that it started with them, building the foundation and setting the tone.”
Navy’s senior class accounted for eight of the nine points against the Terps, including Hull who led the way with three points on two goals and an assist. He finished his career 14th on the Mids’ all-time scoring list with 135 points on 82 goals (13th) and 53 assists (16th). Durkin, Heneveld and Kiernan all pitched in goals, while Jones and Price dealt out assists. Hanzsche was the lone returning player to contribute a point in the contest.
Jones, meanwhile, closes out his career ranked 10th on Navy’s career scoring list with 144 points on 85 goals (11th) and 59 assists (13th).
Kiernan will graduate as Navy’s all-time leader in caused turnovers (74), adding one today to his career mark, while finishing fourth in career ground balls with 187.
“You could say this is bittersweet,” said Hull. “This is a pretty impressive group of seniors we have here and I’m proud to be part of it.”
### Go Navy ###