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Huge first quarter powers Terps past Penn State

By: Charlie Wright

Matt Rambo had a hat trick in the first quarter of the game against Penn State.

Matt Rambo had a hat trick against Penn State with two goals coming in the first quarter.

Goalie Kyle Bernlohr cradled the ball behind the goal and looked downfield. He lobbed a pass across the center stripe to defenseman Casey Ikeda, who drove toward the goal and then dropped it off to a wide open Matt Rambo. The attackman rifled the ball into the net, the No. 3 Terps’ sixth goal of the first quarter. This would be all they needed.

This was already Rambo’s second goal, and the Terps put up eight scores in the opening 15 minutes. Six different players scored and Maryland shot 8-for-18 in the period. A diversified attack is nothing unexpected for the Terps and it led to a 12-5 victory over Big Ten foe Penn State.

“It’s going to be different scorers each game,” said attackman Jay Carlson, who also scored twice in the first quarter. “When everyone has that unselfish mindset we think that anyone can really score.”

Penn State was overmatched early, as the Terps eviscerated their man-to-man defense in the opening frame. The Nittany Lions made some adjustments after the first quarter, though, switching to a zone defense, and held the Terps scoreless in the second period.

“They went to one zone, then they went to another zone, then they went to another zone, and I think they found the one that they felt most comfortable with,” said coach John Tillman. “We were trying to make adjustments as well, and I actually thought we got a couple good looks and it just didn’t go.”

Attackman Mike Sutton did his best to keep Penn State close, notching two goals in the first quarter, including a bouncing shot that went in just as time expired. The attackman would be the only bright spot for the Nittany Lions, scoring a hat trick in the defeat.

“I don’t think we ever got to the point where we made them feel uncomfortable,” said Penn State coach Jeff Tambroni.

The Terps got back on the board to start the second half, with Colin Heacock (Boy’s Latin) scoring a man-up goal less than a minute in. Shortly after, a little defense turned into an offense opportunity. Ikeda knocked the ball loose from a Nittany Lion, and flipped the ball to a streaking Mike Bender. The defenseman charged down the field and then swung it to Carlson (St. Paul’s), who flicked the ball to a waiting Rambo, and the Terps leading scorer finished it to complete the hat trick.

“He’s talented, but he’s one of six or seven guys that can beat you,” Tambroni said of Rambo.

The teams traded two goals apiece in the fourth quarter, with both sides getting plenty of subs into the blowout. The Terps cruised to their eighth straight victory, but it wasn’t without a key loss. Faceoff specialist Charlie Raffa took a huge hit early in the game, and did not return. He appeared to injure his right shoulder, but Tillman did not reveal the nature of the injury.

“Charlie has been a warrior,” Tillman said. “We’ll assess things when we come back. He’s used to throwing his body around and taking some hits.”

In his stead, Jon Garino went 8-for-10 at the faceoff X. He filled in admirably for an injured Raffa earlier in the season, and would get the start on Wednesday against Loyola if Raffa is sidelined.

“It was tough seeing him down, but we just know that Jon Garino and Andrew Walsh are great faceoff guys and they play to that same high standard,” said Carlson.

Tillman was not worried.

“Jon does what Jon does,” he said.

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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.

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