PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania men's lacrosse team got off to a quick start on Maryland Saturday afternoon at Franklin Field. However, on a sweltering day, the eighth-ranked Terrapins proved to be more physical and domineering as the game went on.
The result was a 14-10 Maryland win that pushed the Terps to 9-4 on the season. Penn, meanwhile, fell to 6-6 overall and will play its final regular-season game on May 5 against Denver with a chance to finish above .500 for the second year in a row.
J.J. Lian led the Penn attack Saturday, scoring three goals, while Craig Andrzejewski had two goals and an assist. Garvey Heiderman also netted two goals, while both Drew Collins and Casey O'Rourke had a goal and an assist.
Penn had no answer for Maryland's Max Ritz, however -- he scored four goals and dished out two assists for six points. Michael Phipps had three points (1 goal, 2 assists), while Dan Groot and Thomas Alford had two goals apiece for the Terps.
Maryland outshot Penn, 43-30, in the game and forced Chris Casey to make 13 stops in the Quaker goal. The Terps, meanwhile, got a huge lift from Harry Alford in the cage -- after Brian Phipps made just two stops and gave up six goals in the first half, head coach Dave Cottle went to Alford for the second half and he responded with six saves (five in the decisive third quarter) while allowing just four goals.
Penn drew first blood Saturday, when Chris Harms netted an unassisted effort in the fifth minute. Maryland evened things up just 1:02 later when Ritz finished an Adam Sear feed, but Lian came back with goals at the 8:28 and 4:52 marks to give the Quakers a 3-1 lead. Ritz again scored for Maryalnd, this time off a Phipps feed, and it was 3-2 after one quarter.
Terp defenseman Ray Megill quickly got things tied up in the second quarter, but again Penn reacted with a two-goal spurt. Andrzejewski hit on a Collins feed with 12:06 left in the half, and then the duo switched roles to give the Quakers a 5-3 lead with 10:20 to go.
Maryland again came back, as Will Dalton and Thomas Alford hit unassisted goals just 1:38 apart to knot things up at 5-5. O'Rourke pushed Penn back in front about a minute after Alford's goal, and then Ritz finished a Drew Evans feed with just 1:10 left to make the score 6-6 heading into halftime.
Penn again took the lead, when Andrzejewski finished an O'Rourke feed just 26 seconds into the third quarter. That would be the last lead the Quakers would have.
Maryland evened the score at 7-7 when Evans hit an unassisted goal 3:30 after Andrzejewski's tally, then took the lead for good with Alford finished a Phipps feed with 9:18 to play. While Alford stymied Penn again and again in the Maryland goal, the Terps went up 9-7 on Groot's unassisted goal with 6:43 to go, then 10-7 when Phipps and Ritz connected in the final minute of the third.
Heiderman rifled a long-range shot in the first minute of the fourth quarter to make the score 10-8, but Maryland sealed the deal by killing the clock and then rattling home four unanswered goals in a four-minute span. That made the score 14-8 with 2:23 to play, before Heiderman and Lian scored in the final two minutes for Penn.