COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Senior Mike Chanenchuk scored with two seconds remaining to send the No. 7 seed University of Maryland men’s lacrosse team to the NCAA tournament quarterfinals with an 8-7 win over Cornell Saturday afternoon in front of 2,210 at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium.
The Terps (12-3) advance to the quarterfinals and will play the winner of No. 2 seed Syracuse vs. Bryant on Saturday, May 17 at James M. Shuart Stadium in Hempstead, New York. The Big Red finishes the season with an 11-5 record.
Cornell started off the game strong with a 4-0 lead on goals by Connor Buczek, Mike O’Neill and two from Matt Donovan, while the Big Red defense holded the Terps scoreless for the first 23:59 of the game.
Chanenchuk responded with Maryland’s lone goal of the first half at the 6:01 mark of the second quarter to cut the deficit to 4-1.
Donovan scored his third goal of the half with 12 seconds remaining in the second quarter to give Cornell a 5-1 advantage at the break.
The Terps regrouped during halftime and came out firing in the second half, putting up a three-goal run of their own over the first 5:24 of the third.
Junior Jay Carlson started off the streak with an unassisted goal at the 11:18 mark in the third quarter. Carlson scooped up a rebound off of a shot by freshman Matt Rambo right in front of the crease and one-timed it into the net for the score.
After scoring the goal, Carlson was hit with a late cross check by Cornell’s Jordan Stevens to give the Terps an extra-man opportunity. The EMO unit cashed in to cut the Big Red lead to 5-3 when Rambo scored off an assist from Chanenchuk.
Freshman Connor Cannizzaro finished off the three-goal streak with a goal off a nice skip pass from Chanenchuk at the 9:36 mark of the third quarter.
Cornell ended the Maryland run with a goal at the 7:13 mark of the third quarter to up its lead to 6-4 heading into the fourth quarter.
Maryland opened up the fourth quarter with another extra-man goal at the 11:36 mark. Another cross check penalty on Stevens, this time on Cannizzaro, set up Rambo, who scored his second of the day just nine seconds into the penalty make it a one-goal game at 6-5.
Dan Lintner scored his only goal of the day just over a minute later at 10:17 to give Cornell a 7-5 lead. But that proved to be final goal of the day for the Big Red as the Terrapin faceoff unit won the next two faceoffs and the defense allowed just three Cornell shots over the game’s final 8:12.
Rambo scored his third goal of the day to cut the deficit to one once again with 9:17 remaining in the game with an unassisted goal.
Just over a minute later Maryland tied up the game at 7-7 thanks to Cannizzaro’s second goal of the day, a brilliant unassisted effort from the left wing after dodging from behind the cage with 8:12 left on the clock.
Both team had their chances, but Maryland had the ball with less than a minute to play. The drama unfolded from there. A timer-on call was put on the Terps with 31 seconds, meaning Maryland had to get off a shot with more than one second.
The Big Red defense got the Terps to put the ball on the ground with about 11 seconds left, but Chanenchuk came up with the biggest of the Terrapins’ 27 groundballs with nine seconds left, which allowed Maryland head coachJohn Tillman the opportunity to call a time out and set up a final play.
That play started with sophomore Henry West dodging down the right alley and sending a perfect skip pass across the field to Chanenchuk on the left wing and he ripped a shot into the right side of the Cornell net, past freshman goalie Christian Knight with just two ticks left on the clock.
Junior Charlie Raffa controlled the faceoff X going 11-of-17 on the day with three groundballs. He was supported by outstanding wing play by senior Michael Ehrhardt, who had six groundballs and a caused turnover, and senior Brian Cooper, who had four groundballs.
Senior goalie Niko Amato kept the Terps in the game in the first half, making seven of his eight saves in the first 30 minutes of play. He also had three groundballs and a caused turnover.
• With today’s 8-7 win Maryland is now 14-3 all-time vs. Cornell and 2-3 in NCAA tournament play.
• Maryland is now 15-4 (.789) all-time in first-round games in the NCAA tournament. The Terrapins are making their 33rd appearance in the NCAA tournament quarterfinals.
• With four points on two goals and two assists, senior Mike Chanenchuk now has 40 multi-point, 29 multi-goal and 12 multi-assist games for his career.
• With his four points, Chanenchuk now has 110 for his Maryland career, moving him into a tie with Xander Ritz (2004-06), Brian Zeller (1996-2000) and Roger Tuck (1973-76) for 34th on the Terps’ all-time points list.
• Chanenchuk’s two goals give him 71 for his Maryland career, moving him ahead of Tim Worstell (70, 1980-83) and John Lamon (70, 1976-79) into 26th on the Terps’ all-time goals list.
• With three points on three goals, freshman Matt Rambo now has five hat tricks, 10 multi-point and nine multi-goal games for his career.
• With two points on two goals, freshman Connor Cannizzaro now has nine multi-point and eight multi-goal games for his career.
• With one caused turnovers, senior Michael Ehrhardt now has 68 for his career, passing Ray Megill (2004-07) for sole-possession of 10th place on Maryland’s all-time list.