COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Hat tricks by senior Mike Chanenchuk and freshman Connor Cannizzaro led the No. 1 University of Maryland men’s lacrosse team to a 12-10 win over the Villanova Wildcats Friday evening in front of 2,045 at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium.
Maryland (6-0, 2-0 ACC) opened the game on a seven-goal run in the first quarter, and was able to hold on to the lead despite a late Wildcats (1-4) comeback.
Junior Charlie Raffa took the opening faceoff straight to the goal and scored unassisted just seven seconds into the game to start things off for the Terps.
With 13:06 remaining in the first quarter freshman Matt Rambo scored his first of two goals to extend the lead to 2-0. Rambo dodged from the back of the cage to the right side and finished his shot into the top left corner.
Senior Jay Carlson increased the lead to 3-0 with 10:05 left in the quarter. Chanenchuk earned the assist when he found Carlson on left goal line extended for the close finish.
Cannizzaro scored his first goal of the game at 7:45 of the first to give Maryland a 4-0 lead. The freshman dodged down the right wing and after a quick re-dodge before scoring in tight.
Sophomore Henry West scored his lone goal of the game with 5:23 remaining in the quarter to improve the lead to 5-0. Junior Bryan Cole found West in the middle who quickly finished off the goal from just in front of the crease.
Maryland added to their lead just over a minute later with Chanenchuk’s first goal of the day. After a save by senior goalie Niko Amato, freshman John Belz took the outlet pass and pushed the ball in transition. He found Chanenchuk open on the left wing and Chanenchuk buried a quick rip.
Rambo finished off the scoring in the first quarter with 1:27 left, again wrapping around the right side of the cage.
Villanova scored their first goal of the game with 14:33 remaining in the second to cut the lead to 7-1.
The Terps answered back with two of their own though. Cannizzaro finished off a dodge down the right alley with a shot to the left corner.
Chanenchuk followed suite with his second goal of the day. Junior Casey Ikeda started the play by picking off an errant Villanova pass and pushing the ball up the field. He then fed Chanenchuk to earn his first career assist.
The Wildcats scored the next three goals, all unassisted, to cut the Maryland lead to 9-4 with 12:07 remaining in the third quarter.
Maryland answered back with its own two-goal run to push the lead back to 11-4. First freshman Colin Heacockdodged from the right alley and finished a big shot to the top left corner. Cannizzaro added the second, his third of the day, on Maryland’s only extra-man opportunity with 5:47 left in the third quarter. Cannizzaro finished a quick one-timer off of an assist from senior Rustin Bryant.
Villanova added two more goals to cut the lead to 11-6 entering the final quarter.
Chanenchuk scored Maryland’s final goal of the day with 13:58 remaining in the fourth quarter. The senior dodged down the right wing to give the Terps a 12-6 lead.
The Wildcats scored the final four goals of the game to cut the lead to 12-10 but were held scoreless for the final 5:02 for Maryland to hold on to the win.
An offside call on the Terps with 1:13 to play gave the Wildcats a chance to trim the Maryland lead back to one, but the Terrapins killed off the penalty and with the game winding down senior Michael Ehrhardt caused a turnover and picked up the ground ball to seal the win.
Raffa went 12-of-20 facing off on the day and scooped up 10 ground balls in the process. Senior Brian Cooper led the defense with four caused turnovers and three groundballs, while Ehrhardt finished with seven groundballs and two caused turnovers. The Terps beat Villanova in the ground ball battled collecting 49 ground balls to the Wildcats’ 27.
Amato tallied seven saves on the day and added two ground balls while leading Maryland to a perfect 13 for 13 in clear attempts.
Maryland returns to action Tuesday March 18 when they travel to Michigan for 4 p.m. tilt at Michigan Stadium.
• With today’s 12-10 win Maryland is now 8-0 all-time vs. Villanova.
• With four points on three goals and an assist, senior Mike Chanenchuk now has 14 hat tricks, 33 multi-point and 25 multi-goal games for his career.
• With two points on two goals, freshman Matt Rambo now has five multi-point and four multi-goal games for his career.
• With three points on three goals, freshman Connor Cannizzaro now has two hat tricks, four multi-point and three multi-goal games for his career.