WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Senior Owen Blye scored a career-high five goals to lead the No. 2 University of Maryland men’s lacrosse team to a convincing 16-4 win at Hartford in front of 1,747 at Alumni Stadium Saturday afternoon.
Maryland got out of the box quick, going up 1-0 just 1:05 into the game when Blye came around right goal line extended and beat Hartford goalie Frank Piechota with a quick fake high before finishing with bouncer.
The lead jumped to 3-0 with two more unassisted goals. Senior Kevin Cooper scored his first of the game, converting off of a scramble on a Maryland clear attempt at the 10:42 mark. Then senior Jake Bernhardt blew past his defender to get to the middle of the box and ripped a shot into the top right corner with 8:55 to go in the first.
An illegal body check on the Hawks’ Brendan Lake gave the Terps’ an extra-man chance and junior Mike Chanenchuk scored off of a feed by senior John Haus at the 7:01 mark to make it a 4-0 Maryland lead.
Hartford got on the board with 1:03 left in the first with an extra-man score by Andrew Cacchio.
But the Terps would take a four-goal lead into the quarter break thanks to a score by Cooper. Piechota got a piece of it, but the ball trickled over the line for a 5-1 Maryland lead with just 30 seconds to go in the first.
The second quarter started just like the first with the Terps’ scoring quickly. With just 1:17 ticked off the clock, a quick restart caught Piechota out of the crease and Cooper found Haus wide open in front of the net for the easy score.
The lead grew to 7-1 for the Terps at the 10:30 mark when Haus picked up his second assist of the game by finding Blye on left goal line extended with a pinpoint pass.
Sophomore Jay Carlson scored his first of the season to make it a seven-goal Terrapin lead with a quick turn-and-shoot from just above right goal line extended with 7:24 to play in the second.
Maryland’s transition game kicked into gear for the next goal as a Hawks turnover went the other way with senior Landon Carr pushing the tempo. He gave the ball up to senior Jesse Bernhardt and the long pole bounced a shot into the Hartford net with 6:37 left in the quarter.
Blye scored twice to open the third quarter to build the lead to 11-1. He scored his third of the game, going right past a Hawk defender to get in close and beat Piechota off side high. Blye then made it a 10-goal lead with an extra-man goal off an assist by Chanenchuk with 9:32 to go in the third.
Cooper finished his hat trick with an unassisted goal through the legs of the Hawks’ goalie to give Maryland a 13-1 lead at the 8:08 mark.
Drew Haig ended the Hartford scoring drought at 25:37 with an unassisted goal at the 5:56 mark of the third.
But Maryland answered right back with Carlson scoring his second of the day with 3:43 to play in the quarter. The goal was officially unassisted with Carlson dipping under his defender to get free, but Haus slipped a terrific pass to Carlson to set up the score.
The Terps closed out the quarter with a goal by senior Billy Gribbin with 2:03 to play. After being robbed several times earlier in the game by Piechota, Gribbin got one into the net, finishing off a nice feed from sophomore Joe LoCascio to make it a 15-2 Maryland lead.
Hartford made it a 12-goal deficit early in the fourth quarter with Jared Franze scoring off a feed from Garrett Dollard.
The Hawks scored back-to-back goals for the first time in the game when Cooper Del Zotto found the back of the net to make it a 15-4 game with 9:48 to go in the fourth.
Maryland upped the lead back to 12 when junior Brendan Saylor found sophomore Bobby Gribbin wide open on the crease and Gribbin beat reserve goalie Dan Zenevitch for the 16-4 Terrapin lead.
Senior Michael Ehrhardt had a career-best six groundballs to lead the defensive effort, while junior Niko Amato made eight saves in the first three quarters and sophomore Kyle Bernlohr finished with four in the fourth.
The Terps continue their three-game road trip next Saturday, Feb. 23, when they travel up to Baltimore to play No. 1 Loyola at 1:30 p.m. at the Ridley Athletic Complex. That game will be televised nationally on the NBC Sports Network.
• With today’s 16-4 win, Maryland is now 2-0 all-time vs. Hartford.
• With a five points on three goals and two assists, senior Kevin Cooper now has three hat tricks, 13 multi-point, five multi-goal and eight multi-assist games for his career.
• With three points on a goal and two assists, senior John Haus now has 22 multi-point and nine multi-assist games for his career.
• With five points on five goals, senior Owen Blye now has 24 multi-point and 14 multi-goals for his career.
• With two points on two goals, sophomore Jay Carlson now has five multi-point and four multi-goals for his career.
• Maryland held the Hawks without a goal in the second quarter, marking the first time this season the Terps have shutout an opponent for a quarter.
• Maryland held Hartford scoreless for 25:37 from late in the first quarter into the third, marking the first 20+ minute scoreless drought for the Terrapin defense this season.