The Maryland lacrosse team has arguably their toughest test of the 2017 season on Saturday.
In their matchup with top-ranked Penn State, defense is going to be a huge key for the Terrapins.
The Nittany Lions possess the fifth-best scoring offense in the country with 14.7 goals-per-game. On the other hand, the Terps aren’t far behind as they come in seventh with 13.5 tallies per contest.
Penn State boasts a pair of players with 20 or more goals in attackmen Mac O’Keefe (35 & 4) and Grant Ament (22 & 18). This dynamic duo is part of the reason that the Nittany Lions have raced out to a 10-0 mark.
As impressive as Penn State’s offensive attack has been, they could meet their match in a stout Maryland defense.
The Terps are yielding just 8.63 goals-per-game, which is good for 17th in the country. Part of the reason for that success is the fact that they cause 6.63 turnovers-per-game.
Maryland has caused 53 turnovers on the season and five players have forced at least four giveaways. Long-stick midfielder Matt Neufeldt leads the team with nine forced turnovers.
Obviously, Penn State has one of the most lethal offenses in the country. However, Maryland has already faced top-notch talent this season.
The Fighting Irish boast one of the most talented goal-scoring trios around in Ryder Garnsey, Sergio Perkovic, and Mikey Wynne. All three have at least 15 points and have double-digit goals on the year.
In that contest, the Terps held the Irish to just five total goals. Maryland caused 12 turnovers and held Notre Dame’s prolific trio to just three points.
It also didn’t hurt that goalie Dan Morris had one of his best performances of the campaign. The junior netminder stopped 13 shots on the afternoon.
Up to this point, Maryland has a 2-2 record against teams that rank in the Top 25 in the country in scoring offense. The Terps defeated Michigan and Yale while having dropped decisions to Notre Dame and Villanova.
This is a group that is definitely battle-tested this year and has plenty of experience in tight games. Isaiah Davis-Allen, Tim Muller, Neufeldt, and Bryce Young form an extremely formidable unit that has flustered some of the best offensive attacks that the college lacrosse world has to offer.
Penn State certainly isn’t going to be a walk in the park. However, Maryland lacrosse has played an extremely tough schedule up to this point and should be well-prepared for the task on Saturday.