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No. 3 Terps fight for key win at No. 7 Albany

Long stick midfielder Matt Neufeldt had another great game, helping hold the high-powered Albany offense to just 11 goals with six ground balls and three caused turnovers.

Wednesday night’s road game at No. 6 Albany was a significant one for the No. 3 Maryland men’s lacrosse team. The Terps followed their season’s signature victory over No. 1 Penn State on Saturday with a 12-11 victory against another highly-ranked opponent. And considering the Great Danes are a non-conference opponent and all of the attention the past few weeks have been on Big Ten opponents for them, it showed Maryland has turned a bit of a corner.

Earlier this year, Maryland was rolling, having won their first four games and having ascended to the No. 1 spot in the national rankings. Then, they were completely shut down by Notre Dame and lost a tough game against an unranked Villanova squad. But now they seem to be hitting on all cylinders and got a victory at the end of a hard-fought battle against one of the best teams in the country.

Things didn’t start off swimmingly well for Maryland. The Terps were shut out for nearly the entire first quarter as the Great Danes scored the first three goals of the year. Connor Fields had a hand in all three scores as he scored the first goal and assisted the next two.

With 2:41 left in the first period, Fields notched his second assist to put Albany ahead 3-0. But just shy of a minute later, Jared Bernhardt sparked a quick three-goal run for Maryland to tie the game before the end of the first quarter. Tim Rotanz and Connor Kelly also scored in the spurt that took just one minute and 49 seconds.

But Maryland’s defense stood tall and really limited their opponent that entered the game averaging nearly 17 goals per game. Albany scored only two goals in the second quarter. Bennett Drake put Albany back ahead with a score three minutes into the second quarter. Just a minute later Tim Muller scored his second point and first goal to retie the game. Then, Rotanz gave Maryland their first lead 68 seconds later with his second score of the game.

Albany still managed to retie the game with a man-up goal by Justin Reh with 9:10 left in the second quarter. But again, Maryland had success in the final minutes. With 87 seconds left in the second quarter, Rotanz completed his hat trick and Dylan Maltz gave Maryland a 7-5 lead at halftime.

The Great Danes just refused to go away, though. Matt Rambo, who fed Maltz for the final goal of the first half, scored unassisted to open the second half to give Maryland an 8-5 lead. Albany, though, scored three in a row to tie the game.

Maryland just had a knack for scoring late in quarters, though. With just 23 seconds left in the third period, Colin Heacock broke the tie and gave Maryland a 9-8 lead. Reh opened the final quarter with a goal to put Albany back ahead, but Maryland got the job done down the stretch.

Rambo broke the tie as he capitalized on a man-up situation. With 12:46 left in the game, Albany’s Erik Dluhy was called for a slash. It took just 33 seconds for Rambo to take advantage.

Maryland never trailed after that. Ben Chisolm scored two final goals for Maryland and coming right after each were goals by the Great Danes. Reh scored his fourth goal of the game with 3:34 left to cut Maryland’s lead to just one at 12-11. However, Maryland held on and held the Great Danes out to secure the victory.

Albany outshot Maryland 39-33 and beat them on faceoffs 16-11, but Maryland had the 30-26 ground ball advantage and goalkeeper Dan Morris had 12 saves in the game. Terps defender Matt Neufeldt had another remarkable game, finishing with six ground balls and three caused turnovers.

Maryland will have Big Ten games for the rest of their regular season. They will remain on the road when they play at No. 11 Rutgers on Sunday.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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