Huge second half sends Maryland to fifth straight NCAA quarterfinal

May 13, 2018 | WNST Staff


COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Maryland men’s lacrosse offense exploded for 11 second half goals and overcame a three-goal halftime deficit to defeat Robert Morris, 14-11, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Sunday afternoon.

The Terps (13-3), which are headed to their fifth straight NCAA quarterfinal, will face Cornell next Sunday in Annapolis, Md., at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

Senior goalkeeper Dan Morris matched his season-best with 13 saves, including 11 in the first half, while senior Connor Kelly scored four goals.

The Terps quickly erased a three-goal halftime deficit by posting four unanswered goals in less than four minutes to take a 7-6 lead. Freshman Roman Puglise scored the first goal of his career 42 seconds into the half, before Kelly fired back-to-back goals past the Colonial goalkeeper.

Junior Austin Henningsen was the offensive catalyst for the Terps in the second half, winning 14-of-18 faceoffs, while redshirt freshman Anthony DeMaio recorded three assists in the third quarter alone. DeMaio entered the game with just three assists to his name in the previous 15 games.

Robert Morris (13-5) opened the fourth quarter with a goal to cut its deficit to one, but Jared Bernhardt and Tim Rotanz exchanged goals and assists on consecutive goals to give Maryland a commanding 12-9 lead. Freshman Bubba Fairman also scored two of his three goals in the fourth quarter.

Senior Adam DiMillo scored the game’s opening goal, but Robert Morris responded with four consecutive strikes to take a 4-1 advantage.

Kelly now has 77 points on the season, which ranks fourth in Terrapin single-season history. He also moved into a tie for sixth in program history with 126 career goals (Pete Worstell).

The Terps are 6-0 in the NCAA Quarterfinal round under head coach John Tillman.