By Sydney Fazio
It was a tale of two halves Saturday in Maryland Stadium, when No. 2 Maryland fell to No. 1 Albany, 11-10.
It was Maryland’s first loss since April 22 of last year.
The Terrapins have only trailed 3:13 of 300 minutes in five games played this season. They hadn’t trailed in their matchup against Albany until there was 1:16 left in the final quarter.
Maryland came out of the first quarter gates with a bang, winning the faceoff and giving sophomore attackman Jared Bernhardt possession to score the game opening goal within the first 30 seconds.
Maryland kept up the tempo for the duration of the first half, dominating Albany offensively. Freshman faceoff specialist Justin Shockey won seven faceoffs compared to Albany’s four, giving the Terrapins possession for most of the first half.
Senior goalkeeper Dan Morris had five huge saves in the first half, holding Albany to just three goals. Morris said he spent extra time in the film room to prepare for this matchup.
“The scout guys throughout the week do a really good job giving me looks, I spent a lot of time in the film room with coach (John) Tillman watching different guys’ release points,” Morris said. “Especially with a team like Albany, they have a lot of different release points, and really skilled guys; you know, I don’t see those kinds of releases that often.”
Despite their ability to turn possessions into goals in the first half, Maryland coach John Tillman said he just didn’t feel like his team was clicking, even from the beginning.
“I just thought we weren’t in a great flow. I just didn’t. I just felt like we were playing super slow from the beginning,” Tillman said. “For us, that’s when we’re at our best. When the ball is zinging around, we’re just getting the spots, and guys are moving and cutting, and we get in a flow, and I just felt like we struggled to get in a flow all day.”
The Terps’ lack of flow carried into the second half, where Albany’s had 10 faceoff wins compared to Maryland’s three, giving the Great Danes better control of the game. Maryland’s five-point lead in the third quarter slowly diminished.
Senior midfielder Connor Kelly said the loss was mainly due to communication and organizational issues on the offense.
“I think I take full responsibility for today’s loss on the offensive end, I think I’ve gotta be better, I’ve gotta be more vocal, I don’t think we were organized for most of the game, so I put it on myself,” Kelly said. “I thought our defense played great along with Dan (Morris).”
In the final quarter, Albany scored four unanswered goals in just over five minutes, giving them a one-point lead with about a minute left in regulation. As the clock wound down, the No. 1 Great Danes would advance to 5-0.
Maryland will go on the road to face No. 4 Villanova on March 17, the first of four games away from home.