After seeing Notre Dame go on a 4-0 run to tie the game at eight in the fourth quarter, it became gut check time for Maryland.
And boy did they respond.
With 8:51 left, midfielder Henry West hit the crossbar, but the ball bounced right back out to LoCasio. LoCasio didn’t miss and beat Irish goalie Conor Kelly to break the 4-0 Notre Dame run and giving the Terps a 9-8 lead.
Just over a minute later, attacker Connor Canizzarro was able to spin off his defender and step in front to beat Kelly. The freshman tip-toed around the crease and was able to make a spectacular play.
Maryland scored the final four goals of the game to defeat the Fighting Irish 12-8 on Saturday afternoon. The Terrapins received hat tricks from both midfielder Mike Chanenchuk and Canizzarro to help secure the ACC regular season title and will be the number-one seed in the ACC tournament next weekend at PPL Park in Chester, Pa.
Maryland started off the game very hot.
Midfielder Henry West scored the opening goal on a jump shot. It was West’s third goal in the past two games for the Terrapins.
With 12:04 remaining in the first quarter, Cannizarro showed extreme poise as he found Chanenchuk in the middle of the paint and Chanenchuk found the back of the cage on a high shot. Maryland took a 2-0 lead less than three minutes into the game and looked to be firing on all cylinders as they scored on their first two possessions.
With 38.3 seconds left in the opening quarter, Chanenchuk scored on a rocket shot from about 12 feet out. It was made possible because Notre Dame allowed Chanenchuk to get a clean shot and didn’t pressure him as he re-entered the paint. The goal was scored on a man-up advantage due to an Irish cross check on Chanenchuk and gave the Terps a 3-1 lead.
Chanenchuk continued his stellar play early in the second quarter as he drew the defense to slide over to him then found a wide-open Matt Rambo in front of the cage for the easy goal to put Maryland up 4-1. It was Rambo’s 22nd goal of the season.
With 4:42 remaining in the second quarter, Joe LoCasio benefited off some tremendous passing as he snapped home an easy goal to beat Irish goalie Conor Kelly. Maryland rebounded from a Notre Dame goal and extended their lead to 5-2. At that point, Maryland had scored on their first two man-up advantages. The Terps shoot 47.2 percent on the season when they are on a man advantage.
Chanenchuk added another goal on Maryland’s final possession of the first half to give him the hat trick and the Terps a 6-3 lead at the half.
With 7:00 left, Rambo took advantage of a mismatch. Notre Dame slid a short stick defender behind the cage and Rambo easily stepped in front and scored. It was a great example of patience by the freshman.
Star attacker Matt Kavanagh cut the lead to 8-5 late in the third quarter as he lowered his stick and beat Maryland goalie Niko Amato. Kavanagh has struggled as of late, but was able to pot a pair of goals on Saturday afternoon.
Just under a minute later, Tyler Brenneman went up high on Amato and scored to cut the deficit to 8-6 with 1:11 left in the quarter. It was Notre Dame’s first back-to-back goals of the day.
The Irish tied the game on a nice pass from Kavanagh to find Conor Doyle, who sweeped the ball in the back of the cage.
The Terps were able to clamp down late in the game and secured the victory. Maryland will face Notre Dame once again next Friday night at 5 or 7:30 p.m. We’ll update with the confirmed time when it is announced.