BALTIMORE – The No. 7 seed University of Maryland men’s lacrosse team ended its season with an 11-6 loss to No. 6 seed Notre Dame in the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament Saturday afternoon at M&T Bank Stadium.
Notre Dame (12-5) got out to a hot start, scoring the game’s first two goals in the opening 8:36 and never trailed in the game. Matt Kavanagh, who led the Irish with seven points on five goals and two assists, scored the first at the 9:58 mark and assisted on the second, which was scored by John Scioscia.
The Terps’ offense not only had to battle a tough Irish defense, but also had to contend with the pipe as senior Mike Chanenchuk and freshman Connor Cannizzaro each had a shot ring off of the cage in the first quarter.
But the rebound on Cannizzaro’s shot went right back to him and he was able to move the ball on to junior Joe LoCascio, who dodged past his defender before bouncing a shot by ND goalie Conor Kelly at the 4:25 mark of the first to trim the Irish lead to 2-1.
Maryland (13-4) tied the score with 2:05 to go in the first when a defensive switch put a short-stick defensive midfielder on Cannizzaro. That worked in the Terps’ favor as Cannizzaro ran by the defender around right goal line extended and scored into the upper right corner.
The Irish used every second of the first quarter, scoring twice in the final 16 seconds, to take a 4-2 lead. Kavanagh scored off an assist from Sergio Perkovic with 16 seconds left. A faceoff violation on junior Charlie Raffa gave Notre Dame the ball on the ensuing faceoff and Nick Ossello came right down and scored unassisted with 9.5 seconds remaining.
The Terrapins opened the second quarter with a good offensive set that saw freshman Matt Rambo set up junior Jay Carlson on the doorstep, but Kelly made the point-blank save to give Notre Dame the ball. That Irish possession was quick as Doyle scored from the left alley to make it a 5-2 Irish lead with 13:28 to go in the second.
Maryland’s extra-man unit had a chance to cut into the ND lead, but Chanenchuk’s look inside was off the mark and picked up by Kelly. That possession led to another Kavanagh goal as he scored from just above right goal line extended from virtually no angle to make it a 6-2 lead for Notre Dame at the 9:12 mark.
Raffa won the ensuing faceoff and LoCascio made it count by ripping a runner from the right alley into the left side of the Irish net with 8:34 left in the first half.
The deficit was cut back to two again at the 1:39 mark when Chanenchuk’s shot was stopped by Kelly, but Carlson was right there waiting for the rebound and he quickly popped it into the back of the net to make it a 6-4 game.
Maryland had a chance to trim the Notre Dame lead back to one on another extra-man opportunity. Chanenchuk laced a perfect pass to Cannizzaro on the back pipe, but Kelly was there again to make the save for the Irish to keep it a 6-4 game heading into halftime.
Notre Dame opened the second half like it did the first, scoring the first two goals to open up an 8-4 lead.
Maryland looked for a spark and found it in its second midfield line. Sophomore Henry West made it a three-goal game at the 7:14 mark, finishing a feed from Chanenchuk with a low-to-low shot from the left wing. The play was set up by a nice dodge from behind the cage by freshman Colin Heacock.
The Irish didn’t let Maryland build any momentum and scored the final two goals of the third to take a 10-5 lead into the fourth quarter.
Chanenchuk scored his lone goal of the game with 6:02 remaining to cut the ND lead to 10-6, but there wasn’t a late-game rally in the cards as the Irish closed out the contest with a goal by Scioscia at the 1:17 mark.
Senior goalie Niko Amato finished the game with 10 saves and one groundball for the Terps, while Kelly was credited with 14 saves for Notre Dame.
Raffa ended up winning 11-of-13 faceoffs with a game-high six groundballs before exiting the game early in the third quarter. Sophomore Jon Garino filled in the remainder of the game and won 4-of-8 draws with two groundballs.
Seniors Michael Ehrhardt and Brian Cooper finished with five and four groundballs, respectively. Sophomore Matt Dunn led the defense with two caused turnovers.
The game was the final game in the careers of nine Maryland seniors: Tyler Adelsberger, Amato, Rustin Bryant,Emmett Cahill, Chanenchuk, Cooper, Ehrhardt, Thomas Guarino, Quinn Haley.
“I’d like to thank our seniors for all that they’ve done,” said Maryland head coach John Tillman following the game. “We’re certainly going to miss all of them and appreciate how much they’ve sacrificed and what they’ve done for this program and this team, just having the characteristics that you want for young people in your organization and representing our state and our school and our alums so well all year, and I’m very proud of them for that.”
• With today’s 11-6 loss Maryland is now 5-3 all-time vs. Notre Dame and 2-2 in NCAA tournament play.
• Maryland is now 11-11 (.500) all-time in the semifinals of the NCAA tournament.
• With two points on a goal and an assist, senior Mike Chanenchuk finishes his Terrapin career with 16 hat tricks, 42 multi-point, 30 multi-goal and 13 multi-assist games.
• With his two points, Chanenchuk now has 121 for his Maryland career, moving him past Dick Corrigan (1954-58) for sole-possession of 28th on the Terps’ all-time points list.
• Chanenchuk’s one goal gives him 77 for his Maryland career, moving him into a tie with Mike Mollot (2000-03) and Bill McGlone (2003-06) for 22nd on the Terps’ all-time goals list.
• Chanenchuk finished the season with 59 points, which is the 24th highest single-season point total in Maryland men’s lacrosse history. His 36 goals on the season ties him for 19th on the single-season goals list with Matt Hahn’s 1995 season and Joe Walters’ 2006 season.
• Chanenchuk finished this tournament with 15 points, which is the fifth most in Maryland history for a single tournament.
• With two points on two goals, junior Joe LoCascio now has 11 multi-point and seven multi-goal games for his career.
• With five groundballs, senior Michael Ehrhardt finishes his Terrapin career with 170 groundballs, which ranks 18th on the all-time groundball list.
• With 10 saves, senior Niko Amato finishes his Terrapin career with 625 saves, which ranks third on the all-time saves list.
• With 11 faceoff wins, junior Charlie Raffa finished the season with 194 faceoff victories, which ties him with Brian Haggerty (1998) for the third-most in a single season for the Terps.