No. 3 Maryland’s balanced offense leads them to 16-13 victory against Rutgers

By: Cody Wilcox

Sophomore midfielder Bubba Fairman caught a pass, faked left and went towards the middle of the field with his defender on his hip. Able to get his hands free, Fairman shot across his body to send his shot to the back of the net for his second goal of the day with 3.1 seconds remaining in the half.

Fairman’s goal made him one of five Terps that scored over two or more goals that allowed No. 3 Maryland to erase a five-goal deficit in a 16-13 win against Rutgers.

Louis Dubick, Jared Bernhardt, Anthony DeMaio and Fairman led the way for the Terps with three goals each, while Logan Wisnauskas had two goals of his own to go along with three assists.

Despite what appears to be a solid offensive outing, Maryland’s offense was stagnant to begin the game, falling into a 3-0 hole while Rutgers came out firing on all angles.

The Scarlet Knights owned the faceoff X early on, winning 11-of-17 battles. Maryland (10-2, 2-1), using Justin Shockey, Austin Henningsen and Wesley Janeck, was not able to match the play of Rutgers’ faceoff specialist Connor Harryman.

Multiple times during the faceoff, Harryman and a Maryland faceoff player would get locked up on top of the ball until one of the specialists were able to free the ball to the open field. The Scarlet Knights capitalized on this as they maintained an 18-8 advantage on ground balls going into halftime, while the Terps were unable to secure many possessions for their offense.

With the ability to gain possessions at the faceoff X, Rutgers (6-6, 1-2) exposed the Maryland defense in the first half as they were took advantage of miscommunications and breakdowns between defenders.

The Scarlet Knights were looking at a four-goal lead going into halftime before Fairman’s goal in the final seconds of the half, which was a crucial moment for both teams. For the Terps, it was a moment that they could build their energy off of going into the half. But for Rutgers, the Sandy, Utah, native’s goal effectively impeded the momentum they had built in the first half.

After second-half adjustments, the Terps were the ones who came out firing as they scored three goals from three different offensive players to tie the game a nine apiece.

Maryland’s offense got rolling due to the contributions from the faceoff. After only winning a combined six faceoffs in the first half by the Terps’ three specialists, Maryland maintained a 12-4 advantage in the second half against Rutgers in the faceoff X.

Henningsen took the majority of the faceoffs, going 14-22 from the faceoffs to go along with eight ground balls. With his performance Sunday night, Henningsen became the fourth player in Maryland history with over 500 faceoff wins. Shockey finished 3-7 from the faceoff X, while Janeck went 1-4 with five ground balls.

The extra possessions allowed Maryland for find a groove offensively and score ten goals in the second half, while holding the Scarlet Knights to only four.

Rutgers was led by Adam Charalambides with four goals and David Sprock, Casey Rose, Ryan Gallagher and Owen Mead who had two goals each.

After an outstanding freshman season with 26 goals and nine assists, Fairman has been overlooked this season. Prior to the game against Rutgers, Fairman had totaled only 14 goals 11 games while other scorers such as Wisnauskas and Bernhardt have been called upon.

But tonight, it was Fairman who sparked the Terps in their first Big Ten road win as his outside shooting gifted him his first hat trick of the season.

Maryland now moves to 7-0 against the Rutgers since joining the Big Ten in 2015.

The Terps will continue on the road next weekend when they head to Columbus, Ohio, to face the Ohio State Buckeyes, currently ranked the No. 12 team in the nation.

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