NEW HAVEN, Conn. – In one of the most anticipated games of the 2016 season, the Yale men's lacrosse team relied on stellar defense to earn an 8-5 victory over No. 4 Maryland. The experienced defense held the Terrapins to two goals in the second half, while netting five of their own in front of a packed Reese stadium.
Senior defenseman Michael Quinn led a defense that controlled the game, especially in the second half, limiting the number of Maryland opportunities. Maryland star attackman Matt Rambo was covered constantly, and sophomore goalie Phil Huffard held his ground in the crease.
The Bulldogs' offense was slow to start the first half, but every time Maryland took the lead, the Elis had a response. Sophomore Ben Reeves found the net with five seconds remaining in the second quarter to tie the game at three, giving the Bulldogs the spark they needed to open the second half.
Maryland had more offensive opportunities throughout the game, as a result of an impressive performance at the face-off position, but the Bulldogs did not give up easy chances, and the Terrapins did not have many good looks until late in the fourth quarter.
The Elis got their first lead of the game early in the third quarter, with a nice team play that was finished by senior attackman Michael Bonacci. From there, the Bulldogs added four more goals from four different scorers, building an insurmountable 8-3 lead.
Maryland appeared to begin a comeback late in the fourth quarter, adding two quick goals to make it 8-5. A key save from Huffard with two minutes to play, however, ended any chance of Maryland getting closer to tying the game.
The Bulldogs have now established themselves as one of the top teams in the nation with this key early-season victory over a seasoned Maryland team.