By Jacob Steinberg
If you like lacrosse, Saturday’s matinee at Capital One Field was the perfect game for you. Over 7,000 fans watched anxiously, and the game did not disappoint. In an instant classic, the second-ranked Terps lost a hard fought battle to the No. 1 Albany Great Danes 11-10.
The Great Danes are lead by their high octane offense and two best players Tehoka Nanticoke and Connor Fields. Coming into the game the Great Danes were averaging 15.75 goals per game, compared to the Terps’ 12.80.
The Terps came out of the gates firing, Jared Bernhardt scored a wrap around goal in the first minute. Jakob Patterson tied the game at one after a feed from Connor Fields, the Great Danes only goal of the first period.
With 9:38 left in the first, Connor Kelly fed Logan Wisnauskas for his first of two goals on the day. A few minutes later, freshman Bubba Fairman ripped a bounce shot from up top playing a two-man game with Connor Kelly.
After one quarter the Terps led 3-1 thanks in part to outstanding defense Bryce Young against freshman sensation Tehoka Nanticoke.
A minute into the second quarter, Connor Fields scored his first of four goals on the today cutting the deficit to 3-2. The Terps would get one back however, when Anthony Demaio fed a beautiful pass inside to Adam Dimillo who finished the goal.
Less than a minute later Conor Kelly ripped an absolute rocket, tacking on another goal for the Terps. Jared Bernhardt scored his second goal of the game with 5:38 left in the first, eerily similar to his wrap around goal in the first minute. Just before the half, Kyle McClancy dodged around Adam Dimillo cutting the Terrapin lead to 6-3 the score at halftime.
The Terrapins played solid defense in the first half, only allowing three goals to one of the best offenses in the nation.
Early on in the third quarter Logan Wisnauskas extended the Terps lead to 7-3 off the feed from Senior Tim Rotanz on the extra man opportunity.
Bubba Fairman scored his second goal of the day three minutes later in tight extending the lead to 8-3 with 10:22 remaining in the third quarter. Continuing to get more shots on goal, Connor Fields scored his second goal of the day assisted by defenseman Justin Reh.
Tehoka Nanticoke got his first and only point of the day on the next goal, feeding Jakob Patterson whose backhand shot got past Dan Morris. Kyle McClancy scored another goal soon after, again taking advantage of the short stick making it 8-6 Albany.
The Terps scored right back, Justin Shockey used the rip and pop off the faceoff feeding Connor Kelly on the fast break. The goal was Kelly’s second of the day and Shockey’s first career point as a Terp.
A minute later with seven seconds remaining in the third quarter, Connor Kelly fed Tim Rotanz who ripped a shot in between the legs of goalie J.D Colarusso. This gave the Terps a 10-6 lead after three quarters.
Soon after the fourth quarter started Connor Fields scored his third goal of the day unassisted, just barely getting through the legs of Dan Morris. Kyle McClancy continuing to take advantage of the short stick, he scored his third goal of the day bringing the Great Danes to within two with 6:11 left.
With 5:05 left in the game, Connor Fields assisted Jakob Patterson for the backhand goal the third Albany player to score a hat trick. Patterson was feeling it, 30 seconds later rifling a shot top cheddar past Dan Morris to tie the game at 10 with 4:28 left.
The Great Danes were able to consistently take advantage of matchups in the second half where short sticks were covering their middies and attackmen.
Albany Coach Scott Marr said: “We noticed Notre Dame, High Point, scored a lot of goals against their short sticks coming from behind the goal.”
Connor Fields capped his six point day scoring the game winner with 1:16 left backing down Curtis Corley and putting it past Dan Morris.
Connor Fields and Tehoka Nanticoke prevented the Terps defenders from taking the ball away, until there were 10 seconds left not enough for the Terps to tie it up.
After the loss Coach Tillman was very critical of himself.
“Certainly I need to do a better job of helping our guys and getting them organized and prepared and losses are always on the coaches,” Tillman said.
The Terps struggled in the fourth quarter getting some possession time, but were unable to get any high quality opportunities on goal.
Fortunately, for the Terps they will have a full week to prepare for No. 5 Villanova next Saturday in Philadelphia, a team that defeated Maryland last season.