After a statement comeback win in the first round against Albany, No. 8 seed Syracuse secured a spot in the quarterfinals this weekend against No. 1 seed Maryland with a trip to the Final Four on the line. The Orange and Terrapins will face off Saturday at 12 noon at Brown Stadium in Providence, Rhode Island.
The Orange trailed Albany 6-2 at the half and never led until the fourth quarter, finishing with an 11-9 win. Maryland earned its spot after a prominent 13-6 win over Quinnipiac in the first round. Syracuse and Maryland haven’t played a game against each other since February of 2014 when the Terrapins juiced the Orange, 16-8. According to Lax Vegas Lines, Maryland is favored to win by two goals.
“I think that the type of game that it was, having to really roll our sleeves up in the second half and get after it will help us [against Maryland],” Syracuse Head Coach John Desko said last weekend after the comeback win over Albany. “We’ve got another left handed goalie next week who is pretty good. You can only hope that this experience that we had to work hard will pay off next week."
“It’s a shame that Maryland and Syracuse are meeting in the quarterfinals,” Albany Head Coach Scott Marr said after the loss. “That's a Final Four-type matchup, you know?”
Maryland is 15-2 overall this season, 2-1 while playing at neutral sites after winning the Big 10 Championship and hasn’t lost a game since March 5, rolling on a 14-game win streak. The Terps are led by attacker Matt Rambo. Rambo is a shooter, tallying the most shots on the team this season with 146, scoring 25 goals and assisting on 22. Second in points is attacker Colin Heacock with 44 points on 37 goals and seven assists. Midfielder Bryan Cole also has 44 points with a more balanced 21 goals and 23 assists. Midfielder Connor Kelly has 24 goals and 12 assists while attacker Dylan Maltz rounds the top five with 21 goals and eight assists.
Syracuse, rolling on a six-game win streak, is 12-4 overall and 2-0 while playing at neutral sites this season. Attacker Dylan Donahue leads the Orange with 60 points on 29 goals and 31 assists. Midfielder Sergio Salcido follows with 28 goals and 23 assists. Salcido has scored 17 points in the last four games alone. Attacker Nick Mariano, also a shooter, taking 102 shots this season, adds 35 goals and 11 assists. Midfielder Tim Barber follows with 26 goals and 14 assists while Attacker Jordan Evans adds 27 goals and eight assists to the top five.
Maryland’s defense has yet to give up more than ten goals in a single game this season. Goalkeeper Kyle Bernlohr has started all 17 games for the Terps, making 150 saves of the 277 shots on goal for a save percentage of .542. Defenseman Tim Muller has 23 caused turnovers and 23 ground balls on the season. Defenseman Greg Danseglio has picked up a whopping 61 ground balls and has caused 15 turnovers.
Goalkeeper Evan Molloy will be making his ninth start in goal for the Orange on Saturday. Molloy has made 56 saves of the 132 on cage for a save percentage of .576. Molloy is 7-1 while starting in goal, the one loss at Cornell in overtime. Defenseman Brandon Mullins has 28 caused turnovers and 38 ground balls this season. Freshman Defenseman Nick Mellen follows with 14 caused turnovers and 35 ground balls.
Maryland has used four faceoff guys this season, Austin Henningsen and Will Bonaparte seeing the most reps. Henningsen is 122-192 at the faceoff X, winning 14 of 17 against Quinnipiac last weekend. Bonaparte is second, winning 69 of 153.
Ben Williams is 217-349 at the faceoff X for the Orange, finishing with 12 of 24 last weekend against Albany after going 0-5 to start the game.
Winner of Syracuse and Maryland will secure a spot in the Final Four and will play the winner of Brown and Navy on Saturday, May 28 in Philadelphia.