PHILADELPHIA. – Sophomore Jay Carlson scored a career-best five goals to lead the No. 1 Maryland men’s lacrosse team to a 10-7 victory over Villanova at Villanova Stadium Saturday night.
The victory ups the Terps’ record to 6-0 on the season, while the Wildcats fall to 1-5 overall.
The wet and messy field made for some tentative play at the start of the game, which saw both teams turn the ball over a couple of times apiece.
Once play settled down Villanova got on the board first with an unassisted goal by John Kuhl at the 12:00 mark.
Maryland tied the score with 7:33 to go in the first when junior Brian Cooper forced a turnover and senior Jesse Bernhardt scooped up the groundball and raced down the field. Bernhardt drew a defender before passing the ball to senior Kevin Cooper on the crease and he finished from in close.
The Wildcats took a 2-1 lead into the second quarter when Jack Rice scored off an assist by Kevin O’Neil at the 5:27 mark.
The lead grew to 3-1 for Villanova at the beginning of the second quarter when O’Neil took advantage of a pushing call on Kevin Cooper and scored on the extra-man opportunity less than 30 seconds into the period.
The Terps cut into the lead with 8:23 to play in the second when senior Jake Bernhardt dodged down the right alley and went under his defender and finished from the right side of the crease.
Villanova looked to add to its lead, but junior goalie Niko Amato, who made six saves in the first half, turned back three shots from right on the crease to keep it a one-goal Maryland deficit.
Maryland tied the game at 3-3 at the 6:17 mark when a scramble during a timer-on situation saw Jake Bernhardt find Carlson on the crease and Carson converted on a quick turn-and-shoot from inside eight yards.
The Terrapins took their first lead of the game right before the end of the first half when Carlson scored his second of the game, this time finishing a feed from senior Owen Blye with 1:12 left.
A two-minute illegal body check on sophomore Casey Ikeda gave Villanova a golden opportunity early in the third quarter and Max Hart tied the game with a goal at the 13:48 mark, but Jesse Bernhardt came up with a huge groundball on the ensuing faceoff to help the Terps kill the penalty and limit the damage.
Carlson put the Terps back up by a goal with his third of the game, finishing a feed by Kevin Cooper with 11:51 to play in the third.
Hart scored his second of the game at the 8:49 mark to tie the game at 5-5, but Maryland would go on a 3-0 run to open up an 8-5 lead.
Blye scored the first goal off of a cross-crease pass by Kevin Cooper with 4:31 to play. Senior John Haus then made it a two-goal lead for the Terps when he went around the back of the cage and scored unassisted coming around left goal line extended.
Carlson finished the run by tying his career-high with his fourth goal of the game. Kevin Cooper found him cutting to the crease and Carlson finished the play while falling down to the turf with 1:12 left in the third.
Villanova won the ensuing faceoff off when Christian Kolderup picked up the groundball and scored to make it an 8-6 Maryland lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Wildcats scored the first goal of a period for the fourth straight time when O’Neil posted his second of the game at the 8:54 mark to cut the Maryland lead back to one.
But the Terps managed to grind out the victory with Carlson taking on his fifth of the game off another assist from Kevin Cooper with 7:46 left on the clock to make it a 9-7 lead.
Junior Mike Chanenchuk closed out the scoring with an unassisted goal with 43 seconds remaining when Villanova brought its goalie out of the cage to double-team the ball and Chanenchuk scored into the empty net.
Amato finished with 11 saves in his return to his hometown. Junior Michael Ehrhardt led the Terps’ defenders with five groundballs, while Jesse Berhardt finished with four groundballs and a caused turnover.
Maryland returns to conference play when it hosts No. 8 North Carolina Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium on Saturday, March 23 at noon. The game will be streamed live on ESPN3.com.
• With today’s 10-7 win, Maryland is now 6-0 all-time vs. Villanova.
• With three points on three goals, sophomore Jay Carlson now has two hat tricks, eight multi-point and seven multi-goals for his career.
• With three points on a goal and four assists, senior Kevin Cooper now 16 multi-point and nine multi-assist games for his career.
• With two points on a goal and an assist, senior Owen Blye now has 27 multi-point games for his career.
• With two points on a goal and an assist, senior Jake Bernhardt now has 15 multi-point games for his career.