PHILADELPHIA - The #2/3 Maryland Terrapins (2-0) used a six-goal run to close the first half and open the second to defeat the Saint Joseph's men's lacrosse team, 16-8, in the Hawks' season opener on Sweeney Field on Tuesday evening. Junior attackmen Chris Blewitt and Jason Kelly and senior midfielder Kevin Reidinger scored two goals apiece, while junior midfielder Hayes McGinley added two assists.
"Tough game tonight," said head coach Taylor Wray. "I thought our guys were amped up and ready to play, but we didn't get off to a great start defensively. It felt like we were very scrambled. Some of that is [Maryland] has some tremendous personnel on that squad. That's a really good team that we played. I thought our guys played really hard but we need to be sharper in order to beat a team of that caliber.
"It's nice to get a game under our belt. I would have liked to perform a little bit better, but there were some positives and a lot to learn. We're going to look at this as a learning experience, and that will help us be better down the road."
Trailing 7-4 at the 10:16 mark of the second quarter, McGinley found Kelly (7:58) before redshirt freshman Michael Major, in the midst of a man-up opportunity, put away his first collegiate goal (7:37) on a feed from junior midfielder Kyle Cain to pull the Hawks to within one.
Maryland's Matt Rambo scored a pair of unassisted goals within a minute (7:22, 6:30) and Adam DiMillo added his first of the season with 10 seconds remaining in the quarter to put Maryland up by four, 10-6, heading into the halftime break.
Connor Kelly (13:36) and Rambo (13:09) added two more to start the third quarter and Jared Bernhardt closed out the six-goal run on an EMO score at the 12:24 mark.
The Hawks battled back with a pair of goals as Blewitt put away an unassisted score with 2:18 to go in the third and Reidinger opened the fourth (12:33) on a feed from senior midfielder Ray Vandegrift to pull SJU to within five, 13-8.
However, Maryland took advantage of a non-releasable personal penalty as Colin Heacock scored back-to-back EMO goals (12:07, 11:36) to extend the Terps' lead by seven en route to the eventual 16-8 victory.
Maryland scored the first goal of the game and never trailed, jumping out to a 5-2 advantage by the end of the first quarter.
For the game, Maryland held the edge in shots (33-28) and ground balls (29-24) and converted four EMO goals while holding the Hawks to 1-of-3 in man-up opportunities. The Terps won 19 of the game's 28 face-off opportunties and were 12-for-13 in clear attempts. SJU went 18-22 in clears.
Saint Joseph's return to action this Saturday, February 18 against #19 Penn. Opening face-off is slated for 3:00 p.m. on Sweeney Field.
"We have a lot of things to learn and a lot of things to clean up, and we have a quick turn-around to play a really good Penn team," added Wray.
GAME NOTES: Junior attackman Jason Kelly recorded his first multi-goal game in his first career start... Freshman defenseman Tyler Makar made his first collegiate start... Redshirt freshman attackmen Danny Bullis and Michael Major, freshman attackman James Bohlinger, and freshman midfielder Alex Ives made their collegiate debuts while junior transfer attackman Patrick O'Brien made his SJU debut... Maryland is the highest-ranked team the Saint Joseph's men's lacrosse program has ever hosted; prior to Tuesday's game, it had been #4 Rutgers on March 10, 2004.
Photos from today's game will be available for purchase at sjuhawksphotos.photoshelter.com.