MOON TOWNSHIP — Not often does a top notch college lacrosse program such as the University of Maryland make an appearance in Western PA.
On Tuesday, Robert Morris welcomed the No. 3 ranked Terrapins to campus for a non-conference slate.
Not surprisingly, the Colonials fell, 13-4, to a Maryland team with top-25 wins over North Carolina, Princeton, Penn, Villanova and Yale notched on its belt.
A loss is a loss, but there’s still reason to view the outcome with a glass half full approach.
“There’s a lot of things on the execution side of it that we actually felt pretty solid with, running our zone defense first and foremost,” head coach Drew McMinn said. “We really wanted to limit the shots from (Joe LoCascio) and (Matt Rambo), we held (Rambo) to a goal and (LoCascio) off the scoreboard completely. Obviously, other guys were capable of putting the ball in the back of the net.”
Maryland was too much for Robert Morris in transition and continued to dominate time of possession like it has all season. The Colonials were outshot 51-20, but only 29 made it on net. Taking away high percentage looks is a product of the zone defense. They’ve used the approach in years past, and McMinn and the staff decided to go back to it this season.
“I think (the zone) is something that’s going to continue moving forward. We felt it was a strength for us, and felt that we played very well with it in our first game against Sacred Heart in the conference,” McMinn said. “It was something we felt matched up well against Maryland, I mean for whatever is going to match up well against them, obviously since they’re a great team.”
Another positive was freshman goalie Chase Rose.
Rose was slated to redshirt the 2014-15 year, until an ACL injury to senior Matt Bukovac prior to the season thrust him into the starting role. He’s posted four double-digit save performances in the seven games he’s started this season, including 16 against Maryland on Tuesday.
A year ago, Rose was playing high school lacrosse in Ohio. Now he’s starting against the No. 3 ranked team in the country. What a difference a year can make.
Welcome to college.
“At the beginning, of course, I was a little nervous. But it’s just a lacrosse game. It’s just fun,” he said. “I’m playing it for fun and playing it because I wanted to be here at Robert Morris. Wanted to be here and play with my teammates.”
“Maryland, traditionally they’re a good team. We pretty much treated it like any other game. We scouted the same way. Coming out, we knew it was going to be fast, but nothing we couldn’t handle,” said Rose.
Robert Morris is back in action Saturday at Joe Walton Stadium to take on Northeast Conference foe Hobart.