Maryland men’s lacrosse faceoff specialist Justin Shockey arrived in College Park in January after a distinguished career at Landon High School where he won almost 80 percent of his faceoffs.
But because Shockey didn’t participate in fall practice with the Terps, the Potomac native took the first few weeks of the season to get acclimated, with faceoff specialist Austin Henningsen starting for the squad to begin the campaign.
On Saturday night, though, Shockey made the most of his start against No. 20 North Carolina, helping No. 2 Maryland to an 11-7 win with his dominance in the faceoff X. Shockey won 16 of 20 draws in the Pacific Coast Shootout matchup.
Shockey’s dominance in the first half, when he secured seven of eight faceoffs, helped Maryland enter the intermission with a 5-2 lead.
Still, Maryland struggled in the fourth quarter for the third time in as many weeks. Against Albany on March 10, a late collapse cost the Terps the game. Defenseman Bryce Young denied a similar result on Saturday with a critical run-stopping strike against the Tar Heels.
North Carolina opened the fourth quarter with three unanswered goals and boasted a man-up opportunity. However, the Terps forced a turnover, and Young sprinted down the field and scored his first goal of the year. The Maryland sideline erupted in celebration.
Shockey’s success enabled the Terps to construct a large second-half lead, giving them vital cushion down the stretch. Midfielder Connor Kelly and attackmen Jared Bernhardt and Anthony DeMaio helped Maryland open the third quarter on a 3-0 run. After the Tar Heels responded with goals, Kelly found the net for the fourth time to give Maryland a 9-4 edge entering the final quarter.
The win was Maryland’s second straight and the Terps’ fifth in their last six meetings with North Carolina. It also concluded a stretch of four consecutive contests against ranked teams.
The Terps begin conference play at Michigan next week.