COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Junior goalie Niko Amato recorded a career high 24 saves and juniorMike Chanenchuk scored the game-winner with 13 seconds left in the game to give the No. 4 University of Maryland men’s lacrosse team an 8-7 victory over No. 18 Yale Saturday at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium in front of a crowd of 3,052.
Amato’s 24 saves were the most by a Maryland goalie since Harry Alford had 25 stops vs. Georgetown in the season opener on February 26, 2005. Senior Owen Blye and Chanenchuk led the Maryland scoring with three goals apiece.
Maryland improves to 9-2 on the season, while Yale, which saw its five-game winning streak snapped, falls to 8-4 with the loss.
Chanenchuk started off the scoring at 9:58 in the first quarter, scoring an unassisted goal from the left wing off of a roll back to give the Terps a 1-0 lead.
Yale answered back at 8:06 when John-William McGovern scored to tie things up at one.
Maryland closed out the scoring in the first quarter when senior Kevin Cooper found a cutting Blye on the crease for the one-time finish to give the Terps a 2-1 advantage.
Maryland opened the second quarter on extra-man after Yale was penalized for an illegal stick. Blye found the net twice during the ensuing extra-man opportunity to extend the lead to 4-1. Blye’s first goal came at 14:18 off of a feed from Chanenchuk. He answered just five seconds later after sophomore Charlie Raffa won the faceoff. Senior Jesse Bernhardtpushed the tempo and found Blye in transition.
Yale’s Colin Flaherty cut the lead to 4-2 at 12:28 with an unassisted goal, but Maryland sophomore Joe Locasio made it a three-goal game with 6:40 to play in the half on an unassisted goal off a dodge down the right alley.
Yale finished out the scoring in the first half at 5:56 when Conrad Oberbeck scored to cut the lead to 5-3 heading into the break.
The Bulldogs opened the second with two straight goals to tie things up at five. The first came at 14:44 when Brandon Mangan scored a man-up goal. Just over a minute later Ryan McCarthy scored his fourth goal of the year to knot things.
Maryland responded at the 12:27 mark of the third when Chanenchuk finished a shot down low off of a feed by Blye to retake the lead, 6-5.
Yale tied the game at 6-6 with 9:46 to play in the third on a goal by Flaherty.
The Bulldogs appeared to have taken its first lead of the game at the 4:15 mark, but McGovern’s goal was taken off the board due to an apparent crease violation on a Yale player away from the shot.
The Bulldogs did get their first lead of the game early in the fourth quarter when Mangan scoring his second goal of the game, but that would be the last goal the Bulldogs would be able to get past Amato.
Maryland answered with two goals of its own over the final 4:36, while holding Yale scoreless for the final 12:06.
The tying goal came when Cooper found sophomore Jay Carlson on the left wing and Carlson finished past Yale goalie Eric Natale with 4:36 remaining in the game.
Yale had the ball for nearly three minutes at the end of the fourth quarter, but couldn’t get the go-ahead goal. Amato made his 23rd save of the game to give the Terps the ball with 51 seconds remaining.
A holding penalty on Yale’s Kirby Zdrill with 25 seconds left in the game gave the Terps a golden opportunity and Maryland didn’t let it go to waste. The game-winning goal came on the extra-man chance when Blye moved the ball to senior Billy Gribbon on the right wing and he found Chanenchuk on the right alley for the goal.
The game wasn’t finished yet though. Yale’s Dylan Levings, who won 11-of-17 faceoffs for the game, won the ensuing faceoff, but Amato made his biggest save of the game with just three seconds remaining, denying Yale’s Harry Kucharczyk with a kick save to preserve the victory.
Maryland’s man-down defense was exemplary in the win, limiting Yale to just one goal on seven extra-man opportunities and that goal was on a 6-on-4 chance to start the second quarter.
Jesse Bernhardt led the Terps with four groundballs and also had one caused turnover to go along with his assist.
Maryland is the No. 1 seed for the ACC tournament and will play No. 4 seed Virginia on Friday, April 26 at North Carolina’s Keenan Stadium at 5 p.m. The second semifinal will feature No. 2 seed North Carolina taking on No. 3 seed Duke in the nightcap at 7:30 p.m. Both games will be broadcast live on ESPNU.
• With today’s 8-7 win, Maryland is now 10-1 all-time vs. Yale.
• With four points on three goals and one assist, junior Mike Chanenchuk now has 25 multi-point and 18 multi-goal games for his career.
• With two points on two assists, senior Kevin Cooper now has 19 multi-point and 10 multi-assist games for his career.
• With four points on three goals and an assist, senior Owen Blye now has 30 multi-point and 17 multi-goal games in his career.
• Blye’s four points gives him 104 for his career and moved him past Steve La Vaute (103, 1966-68) for 40th place on Maryland’s all-time points list.
• With 24 saves, junior Nike Amato recorded his sixth game this season and 20th of his career with at least 10 saves.
• Amato’s 24 saves gives him 441 for his career. He needs just 20 mores saves to move past Brian Phipps (460, 2007-10) for fourth place on Maryland’s all-time saves list.