After Maryland’s top four scorers from a season ago all graduated, and its fifth — junior attacker Eric Malever — suffered multiple injuries to his right leg last fall that will cause him to miss the season, there were unknowns entering the Terps’ first game of 2023 as to how the attack would look.
Owen Murphy scored not once, not twice, but three times in the first half as he led the potent Maryland offense in the first 30 minutes.
But the junior attacker and the Terps’ top returning goalscorer was not done.
With just under five minutes to go in the third quarter, Murphy fired a rocket from about 10 yards out that went untouched past the Richmond goalkeeper.
Murphy was the star of the Terps’ offense, but he wasn’t alone. The junior was one of 10 Terps to score in a dominant performance from No. 2 Maryland men’s lacrosse, as it comfortably handled No. 20 Richmond Saturday at SECU Stadium, 15-4.
“They were super unselfish,” coach John Tillman said. “We’ve had some battles with Richmond and they’ve been able to put up some goals against us, so I know it’s a source of pride for those guys.”
After a missed shot from each side, the Maryland attack went to work.
Long stick midfielder John Geppert received a pass in stride from senior goalkeeper Logan McNaney around midfield and raced toward goal before firing a shot into the back of the net, putting the Terps up less than two minutes in.
Murphy followed up Geppert’s score with a beautiful one of his own after he dodged three Richmond defenders, and freshman attacker Braden Erksa joined the cause with his first collegiate goal at the 10:54 mark of the first quarter, giving Maryland a 3-0 lead in just over four minutes.
Sophomore Jared Chenoy won the proceeding face-off and just like Erksa did for Maryland, freshman midfielder Joe Sheridan found the back of the net for the first time in his collegiate career for Richmond.
After a nine-minute lull, Murphy fired a rocket past redshirt sophomore Zach Vigue in the final minute of the first quarter. Despite being out-shot 10-7, Maryland led 4-1 after the first 15 minutes of play.
After five missed shots and a Maryland turnover to open the second quarter, senior attacker Daniel Maltz capitalized on an open look. Assisted by redshirt senior Jack Brennan, Maltz ran around a Spider defender before turning to his right and firing a low shot for a goal.
Erksa scored for the second time just under four minutes later, putting the Terps up five with 7:30 left in the first half.
Murphy led the way for the Terps early on, as he bounced a shot past the out-stretched leg of Vigue for a first half hat trick with just under three minutes to go before halftime. Less than a minute later, sophomore attacker Eric Spanos fired a strike past Vigue for his first career collegiate goal after redshirting last season to give Maryland an 8-1 advantage at the break.
Shortly into the second half, junior attacker Daniel Kelly and senior midfielder Kyle Long joined Maryland’s scoring party. Kelly’s goal gave each of the starting attackers a score in the game, and Long’s goal was the first out of the starting midfield.
Murphy scored for the fourth time at the 4:20 mark of the third quarter, and junior long stick midfielder Jack McDonald became the eighth Terp to find the back of the net less than a minute later.
Senior Ryan Siracusa scored shortly before the end of the third quarter and Maltz scored his second goal on the opposite side of the break.
An 11-0 Maryland scoring run finally came to an end with 11:23 left in the quarter, when senior attacker Dalton Young scored the first of his two goals in a three minute span. Young became just the second Spider to get a shot past McNaney.
“We’ve all bought into having a team-oriented defense,” McNaney said. “When it works, it works. I have a lot of trust in those guys in front of me and they have trust in me too.”
It did not take long for a Maryland response.
A transfer from Harford Community College, junior attacker/midfielder Cayden Onagi scored his first goal in a Terp uniform less than a minute later on a close-range flick from his left side.
Richmond scored a late goal with Maryland backup goalie Teddy Dolan in net but it did not affect the result, as the Terps dominated the Spiders with goalscoring contributions from across the field all afternoon.
“Mistakes are gonna happen, but with our new group we’ve been … working since August and we all came together and we’ve bought into our system,” Brennan said. “We haven’t changed that since I’ve been here, so I’m confident in all our guys and I know they are all confident.”