Dan Morris sat behind All-American goalie Kyle Bernlohr and waited for his time.
As he’s shown often throughout the 2017 season, Morris is capable of being a dominant force in the cage for Maryland.
The Terrapins began the Big Ten Tournament with a 8-6 win against Penn State in a game in which they never trailed. Morris was the star of the game as he recorded a season-high 16 saves against the Nittany Lions.
Morris recorded nine of his 16 saves in the second half when Penn State made a run to get back into the game.
Taking Thursday’s game into account, Morris holds an 8.84 goals-against-average and a .554 save percentage on the season. While the Terps’ defense has been sensational this season, it was all about Morris on Thursday.
One of the Morris’ biggest stops came late in the first half with Maryland leading 4-1. Penn State went on a man-up advantage after defender Bryce Young delivered an illegal body check in front of the cage with 2:57 remaining in the half.
With 25 seconds left on the man-up, attackman Mac O’Keffe, who is the Nittany Lions’ leading scorer, got free for a straight drive that he sent low. Morris was able to get down and stop the shot with his stick.
Maryland held O’Keefe to just two goals on nine shots throughout the Big Ten Tournament semifinal matchup.
Penn State had scored in every quarter of the 2017 season. They were held scoreless in the second quarter of Thursday’s contest, which had a lot to do with Morris’ performance in net.
After surrendering three goals in a 2:45 span in the third quarter, Morris and the Terps saw their lead dwindle to just 5-4.
However, Morris really settled in and found his composure after that.
With 3:22 left in the third quarter and Maryland clinging to a 6-4 lead, midfielder Ryan Keenan ended up with the ball behind the cage. Keenan then attempted to blow by long-stick midfielder Matt Neufeldt and hit a turnaround leaping shot.
However, Morris looked almost stoic in cage and saw the attempt all the way. He stopped the ball with his stick and was able to control the rebound.
In fact, Morris didn’t allow another goal until there was just 3:29 to go.
The combination of Maryland’s stellar defense and Morris in net allowed the team to get the win despite struggling on offense at times. Star attackman Matt Rambo failed to register a single point, but the Terps were still able to control the pace throughout the entire game.
Morris will look to build off of this historic performance when the Maryland faces second-seeded Ohio State on Saturday evening.