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COLLEGE PARK – The 7-1 Maryland men’s lacrosse team returned to College Park March 16 for its first home game in nearly a month after three consecutive away games and an overtime loss to Notre Dame. The 3-4 Villanova Wildcats were back at Capital One Field in Maryland Stadium for the first time in two years, and the Terps ran roughshod over the team from Pennsylvania to earn a statement 17-7 win.
Saturday’s game marked the first of a four-game stretch at home for Maryland, and that home field excitement was apparent as nine different Terps scored at least one goal against the Wildcats. Midfielder Bubba Fairman led the charge with four goals and two assists, while attacker Jared Bernhardt (top left) added two assists and three goals. That included one shot in the second quarter that Bernhardt completed while diving to the ground. Midfielder Wesley Janeck notched his first career goal right before halftime, an accomplishment that generated a mini on-field celebration from his teammates.
Meanwhile, the Maryland defenders stymied the Wildcats and held them to just two goals in the first half. The Terps cut the field in half and kept the Villanova defenders on their toes, while Maryland goalie Danny Dolan strung together several spectacular saves that kept the Wildcats trailing the entire game. Even though Villanova finished with 38 shots to Maryland’s 35, many of those attempts wildly missed their mark and Dolan took care of the rest.
“Next shot, good or bad, I just try to focus on the next one,” said Dolan of his thought process during games. “It’s great to make those saves, but it’s good also to not have your confidence be based off of saves in general. It’s the next one. I really honestly don’t think [if I’m] hot or cold, it’s just the next one.”
Even though the Terps nursed a comfortable lead throughout most of the game, the Maryland defenders didn’t give Villanova any mercy in the second half. Midfielder Matt Campbell and attacker Corey McManus were the only Wildcats whose goal attempts found their mark; both players finished with a pair of second-half goals.
Despite the fact that the Terps finished with 11 turnovers to Villanova’s nine, the win was Maryland’s biggest of the season both in goals scored and in margin of victory. Next up, the Terps are scheduled to face the North Carolina Tar Heels on March 23.