COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Junior All-American Curtis Holmes dominated face-offs, winning 19-of-20 with a career-best nine groundballs to lead the No. 8 University of Maryland men’s lacrosse team to a 12-6 victory over Hartford in the 2012 season opener at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium.
The scoring was evenly distributed for Maryland (1-0) with nine Terps tallying goals. Junior All-American John Haus led the offensive attack, tying his career high with four points on two goals and two assists.
Hartford (0-1) held a 2-0 lead after the first quarter on goals by Aidan Genik and Martin Bowes. Maryland broke a 16:03 scoring drought when senior Drew Snider finished a pass from redshirt sophomore Mike Channechuk with 13:57 remaining in the second quarter.
Junior Billy Gribbin scored his first goal as a Terp to tie the game at 2-2 on a transition goal with the assist coming from senior Michael Shakespeare with 5:57 left in the second.
Harford regained the lead with sophomore Tate Klidonas finishing a pass from Carter Bender at the 3:21 mark.
The Terps scored the next two to take a 4-3 lead into the half. First, Channechuk connected on a low to high shot from the left wing with 1:03 remaining in the first half. Junior Curtis Holmes won the ensuing face-off and laced a shot from the right alley to give the Maryland its first lead of the game with 57 seconds remaining in the half.
The Hawks regained the lead on back-to-back goals by Kevin O’Shea, making it a 5-4 game at the 10:51 mark of the third.
From there the Terps went on a four-goal run to close out the third and take an 8-5 lead into the fourth quarter. Haus got things rolling, stepping-into a shot and finishing from 10 yards out off of an assist from Snider with 6:19 remaining in the third.
Senior All-American Joe Cummings scored his first goal of the 2012 campaign to put the Terps up 6-5 with 4:09 remaining in the third. The play started with a save by sophomore Niko Amato that led to Cummings’ transition goal off an assist by sophomore defender Michael Ehrhardt.
The Terps extra-man unit upped their lead to two goals 17 seconds later when Haus added his second goal of the day. Snider dumped the ball to Haus on the crease for the goal.
Maryland finished off the scoring in the third with freshman Jay Carlson scoring his first career goal. Carlson one-timed a cross-crease pass from Haus with 3:01 remaining to make it an 8-5 Terrapin lead going into the fourth.
The Hawks started off the fourth fast by scoring nine seconds into the quarter. O’Shea added his third of the day when he put-back a rebound of an Amato save. That was the last Hawk goal of the game as the Maryland defense held them scoreless for the final 14:51.
The Terrapins ended the game with a four-goal run, the first coming with 12:01 left in the game. Gribbin scored his second of the day by wrapping around the right side and finishing the shot inside the near post.
Freshman Kevin Forster got in on the scoring action when he scored his first goal as a Terp at the 10:52 mark. Forster finished from the right alley on a low-to-high shot off a Cummings assist.
Sophomore attackman Rustin Bryant also added his first career goal in the fourth quarter with 7:41 left, finishing from eight yards out on another feed from Haus.
The last goal of the game came in transition at 5:02 with Carlson adding his second goal of the game. Junior Jesse Bernhardt started the play by stripping Hartford’s Carter Bender. Amato scooped up the groundball and hit junior Landon Carr in stride triggering the fast break. Carr quickly moved the ball to sophomore Sean McGwire who found Carlson on the crease for the goal.
Amato came up big for the Terps all afternoon, stopping 12 Hawk shots. His biggest save came late in the first quarter with Maryland trailing 2-0. Genik looked to have an open net after a nice cross-crease pass, but Amato stuffed the shot to keep the Terps in the game. Amato also has another brilliant save in a scramble situation early in the fourth to quell and comeback attempt by Hartford.
The defense in front of Amato was solid with Ehrhardt, sophomore Brian Cooper and freshman Goran Murray all making their first career starts. In addition to his assist, Ehrhardt finished with four groundballs and a caused turnover, while Cooper and Murray each had three groundballs and two caused turnovers.
Maryland dominated groundballs 53-21. In addition to Holmes tying his career high with nine groundballs, Snider and Bernhardt set career highs with seven and six groundballs, respectively. Bernhardt also caused three Hawk turnovers.
The Terps have a short week to prepare for their first road game of the 2012 season, which is on Friday night, Feb. 24 at Georgetown. That game is set for a 7 p.m. start at the Hoyas’ Multi-Sport Field.
• With today’s 12-6 win Maryland is now 1-0 all-time vs. Hartford.
• Maryland has won 19 straight season openers and is 83-3-1 all-time to start the season.
• With four points on two goals and two assists, junior John Haus now has 12 multi-point, six multi-goal and four multi-assist games for his career.
• With three points on a goal and two assists, senior Drew Snider now has nine multi-point and three multi-assist games for his career.
• With two points on a goal and an assist, senior Joe Cummings now has 21 multi-point games for his career.
• Jay Carlson, Mike Chanenchuk and Billy Gribbin each had their first multi-point games as Terps.