COLLEGE PARK — In a matchup between the Maryland Terrapins and the Albany Great Danes, the nation’s top-ranked men’s lacrosse programs, Albany’s Connor Fields proved to be the difference on Saturday at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium.
Fields, a Tewaaraton Trophy candidate, scored the game-winning goal with 1:16 remaining to lift No. 1 Albany to an 11-10 victory over No. 2 Maryland.
Albany rallied from a four-goal deficit in the fourth quarter to secure the win over Maryland before an announced crowd of 7,475.
“It’s huge for our confidence,” said Fields, who registered four goals and two assists. “I think it says a lot about our team and how we face adversity.”
Maryland’s Jared Bernhardt, a sophomore attack, scored 31 seconds into the game to give the Terps an early 1-0 lead before the host team added five more goals to take a 6-3 halftime advantage.
Despite trailing at the half, Fields, a senior attack, said Albany head coach Scott Marr wouldn’t let the Great Danes surrender to Maryland.
“We kept saying at halftime we’re never out of it,” explained Marr. “Just an unbelievable day for us.”
Maryland led 10-6 entering the fourth quarter but Albany wouldn’t quit, the Great Danes (5-0) rallied in the final period to keep their perfect season intact while handing the Terps (5-1) their first loss of the 2018 campaign.
Albany outscored Maryland 5-0 in the fourth quarter including four goals in the final 6:30 to complete an epic comeback over the defending national champions.
“They were down,” said Maryland head coach John Tillman, “but they just kept battling.”
Maryland was led by midfielder Connor Kelly, who tallied three goals and two assists, and goalie Dan Morris who registered 10 saves on the afternoon. Bryce Young, a senior defenseman, matched up against Albany freshman attack Tehoka Nanticoke and held him without a goal for the first time in his career.
Meanwhile, Maryland freshman face-off and former Landon standout Justin Shockey registered his first career point with 1:22 remaining in the third quarter when he assisted on Kelly’s goal that gave the Terps a 9-6 lead.
Albany sophomore face-off TD Ierlan described Shockey as “technically sound” and said he had played against the Potomac native during a summer league tournament one year and was familiar with the local product so he studied film in the days leading up to the game.
“He’s very good,” said Ierlan. “I knew it was going to be a battle. He was as good as I expected him to be.”
Marr, a five-time America East Coach of the Year who began his career as an assistant at Maryland, had some kind words for his former team.
“I think they’re the best team in the country,” said Marr. “This has been the best team in the last five years in college lacrosse. If we can compete with them we can compete with anybody.”