COLLEGE PARK — The Maryland men's lacrosse team took a page out of Albany's playbook.
The No. 6 Terps peppered senior goalkeeper Blaze Riorden and the No. 10 Great Danes with 42 shots and never trailed en route to a 10-7 victory at Maryland Stadium in College Park on Wednesday night.
Before an announced 1,259 in the first-ever meeting between the two programs, Maryland — which has won three consecutive games to improve to 4-2 — kept Albany on the defensive throughout the contest. Riorden made seven saves under a seemingly constant barrage of pressure from the Terps, who outshot the Great Danes 14-3 in the first quarter and 11-5 in the second.
"The first quarter, we obviously want to set the tempo," said senior midfielder Bryan Cole, who, along with junior attackman Matt Rambo, paced Maryland with two goals and one assist. "We want to have other teams play up to our speed and dictate the pace of the game. [Freshman faceoff specialist] Austin [Henningsen] and [redshirt senior goalkeeper] Kyle [Bernlohr] and the defense, they were able to dig in and get stops and win possession back for us, and that kind of opened up the door for us to play loose and play a little at ease. … We were able to set the pace, share the ball, play hard, and be unselfish."
The Terps (4-2) also got two goals each from junior attackman Colin Heacock (Boys' Latin) and redshirt sophomore midfielder Tim Rotanz, and one goal and one assist from sophomore midfielder Connor Kelly and junior attackman Dylan Maltz.
The offense was aided by Henningsen, who entered the game ranked 15th in Division I in faceoff percentage at 61.0 percent (50-of-82). He won 16 of 20 draws, going 8-for-9 in the second half, and collected a game-high 10 ground balls to consistently feed the offense with possessions.
Maryland coach John Tillman also made it a point to praise redshirt senior long-stick midfielder Greg Danseglio (four ground balls), junior short-stick defensive midfielder Isaiah Davis-Allen (two) and freshman short-stick defensive midfielder Wesley Janeck (two) for their help on faceoffs.
"I thought some underrated guys tonight like Wes Janeck, Isaiah Davis-Allen, Greg Danseglio were phenomenal tonight off the wings," Tillman said. "Austin had the numbers, but you saw those guys just digging for tough ground balls."
Maryland scored the game's first two goals and enjoyed a 7-3 advantage at halftime. But senior midfielder John Maloney's goal with 4 minutes, 15 seconds left in the third quarter snapped a 16:13 drought for Albany, which added goals from redshirt junior attackman Seth Oakes and freshman midfielder Sean Eccles to close out the period on a 3-0 run.
"It was a huge change of pace from the first quarter," said Bernlohr, who made six of his seven saves in the second half. "I think they only had [three] shots, and I was without a save up until that point. And then all of a sudden, it came in a flurry. A three-minute possession, it felt like a 15-minute possession. Guys were tired, [but] we got some stops."
The Terps waited just 52 seconds into the final period for Kelly to convert a pass from Cole, ending a 17:46 drought of their own and igniting a three-goal spurt to put the game out of reach.
Oakes led the Great Danes — who took just 23 shots and picked up 17 ground balls to Maryland's 29 — with three goals on six shots, but also committed four turnovers. But sophomore attackman Connor Fields, who entered the contest as the team's leader in assists (nine) and points (17), was limited to two assists by Terps junior defenseman Tim Muller, and sophomore attackman Justin Reh (seven goals and five assists) managed just one assist while shadowed by sophomore defenseman Mac Pons (Boys' Latin).
While appreciative of his team's comeback in the third quarter, Albany coach Scott Marr said the players ran out of steam in the final frame.
"We're constantly fighting an uphill battle, and then we get into that fourth quarter and they win five of five faceoffs," Marr said. "So we're starting every possession — whether we score or they score — having to get a stop on defense and putting all that pressure on our defense. That's tough to do. It does wear you down."