In a showdown between the top two men’s lacrosse teams in the nation, second-ranked Maryland used a big second half to defeat the top-ranked Duke Blue Devils 10-6 on Saturday afternoon at Byrd Stadium.
After a defensive first quarter, Maryland fell behind early after a lackluster offensive showing. Then senior midfielder Mike Chanenchuk took over. Maryland got the offense going late in the second quarter and went into the half up 6-5. The second half was all Maryland and Chanenchuk added a couple of goals to outscore the Blue Devils 4-1 in the second half.
Chanenchuk finished the afternoon with six points (five goals and an assist). Freshman Matt Rambo continued his reign of terror with a goal and an assist.
The defense was sloppy early, but buckled down in the second quarter onwards despite Duke’s aggressiveness. On a few plays in the second half, Duke had a clear goal, but great goaltending from senior Nick Amato prevented that from happening. The senior netminder stopped 17 shots in the win.
Discussed in my preseason preview, the offense was night and day on Saturday. Give Duke credit, but the offense is lethal when it gets going. The problem is getting going, but there were numerous times when a bad pass or poor execution squandered an offensive opportunity for the Terrapins.
Just four games into the season, Maryland has beaten then-second-ranked Syracuse and now top-ranked Duke. This is looking like a legitimate title contender with all the necessary pieces to accomplish such a goal. Maryland will travel to New York next weekend to take on a talented Stony Brook team.
After this performance against the Blue Devils, the Terps could be the top-ranked team in the country.