Breaking News:

So Much Sports Baltimore has officially shut down on August 7, 2017, but would like to thank all of our readers, writers and everybody who helped make this website possible.

Opportunistic Terps roll past Wolverines, 13-4

By: Charlie Wright

Isaiah Davis-Allen scored for the first time in his career against Michigan, finishing the game with two goals.

Isaiah Davis-Allen scored for the first time in his career against Michigan, finishing the game with two goals.

Midfielder Charlie Raffa, known for his faceoff skills, delivered one of the biggest hits of the day. And it was against his own teammate. After defenseman Matt Neufelt scored his first career goal, Raffa charged down the field and tackled his teammate. Maryland had stretched its lead to 10-2 over Michigan, and the senior had seen his protégé put one in the net.

“To see him score just got me really excited, knowing that this guy that I have taken under my wing scored his first,” Raffa said.

Firsts were a theme in the Terps’ 13-4 rout of Michigan, as Sunday’s game was the first-ever Big Ten game for either team, and the first game to be televised on the Big Ten network. Along with Neufelt, midfielder Isaiah Davis-Allen scored the first two goals of his career. Raffa’s reaction was a little more subdued, though.

“You scored two goals?” Raffa asked Davis-Allen after the game.

The Terps got off to a slow start, scoring just four goals in the first half despite taking 21 shots, the same amount Michigan would take in the entire game. The starting midfield struggled, including an uncharacteristic turnover by Bryan Cole and a couple bad misses by Joe LoCascio. Poor decision-making was a clear issue for the Terps.

“Sometimes you try to force a pass when the guy’s not really open, or it’s a really low percentage play but you feel like he’s there,” coach John Tillman said. “I think we made a lot of those plays today, where it was kind of a low percentage play and in that moment we just got excited and tried to make it.”

In the second half, some unheralded players stepped up on offense for the Terps. After a Jay Carlson (St. Paul’s) goal, defenseman Casey Ikeda scooped up a groundball and launched it to Tim Muller. The defenseman flipped it to LoCascio, who sent a missile into the net to extend the lead to five goals. Shortly after, Davis-Allen would notch his second score and Matt Rambo his third, giving the Terps four unanswered goals in less than two minutes. The teams would trade goals down the stretch, but the Wolverines never managed to get the deficit under seven goals.

“It’s not a team you can get behind,” Michigan coach John Paul said.

In addition to Neufelt and Davis-Allen’s first career goals, Ikeda recorded his first assist of the year. The production from the backline was unprecedented for the Terps, and was something the Wolverines were not prepared for.

“We did not anticipate that their poles would run up, they had not shown that all year. Today they did that,” Paul said.

The style of play was more of an on-the-fly occurrence, not a set part of the offense. But Tillman trusts his players to make the right decisions, and gives them free rein to take advantage of opportunities.

“We rarely tell our guys ‘hey you can’t push the ball in transition.’ We have so much confidence in [Davis-Allen] and even with Charlie and Matt and Adam DiMillo and some of the other guys,” Tillman said.

Davis-Allen and Neufelt took extra shooting reps in practice this week, but the sophomore points to maturity as the source of his outburst.

“I think the extra work definitely helped out, but I think it’s something that as I’ve gotten older I’ve been trying to push it a little bit more,” Davis-Allen said. “I try to focus on my role, but if the opportunity presents itself I’ll definitely take it.”

The following two tabs change content below.

Charlie Wright

Staff Writer
Charlie is a lifelong sports fan who grew up cheering for hometown teams. He developed a passion for writing in high school and chose to pursue the profession in college. Charlie followed most of his family to the University of Maryland, where he is pursuing a degree in journalism. He plans to enter the sports journalism field after graduation, hopefully covering a local team.

Comments are closed.