May 15, 2010

SIDEBAR: Terps Defense Turns It Up A Notch

By Avi Creditor
Special to

COLLEGE PARK, Md.--Maryland lacrosse coach Dave Cottle hopes his Terrapins' 2010 NCAA Tournament run resembles the memorable one made in 1975.

At least the first step is now complete.

Third-seeded Maryland had goals from 10 players--including two from junior Ryan Young--as the Terrapins outlasted No. 11 Hofstra 11-8 on Saturday at Byrd Stadium.

The victory earned Maryland (12-3) an NCAA Division I Men's lacrosse quarterfinals date next week with against either Princeton or Notre Dame.

"That just epitomizes who we are," Cottle said of the balanced attack. "We play a lot of guys. We felt like in our league we probably weren't going to out-do some of these teams 1-through-15, but we can be better than them 16-through-32, and that's how we've built this team."

When Maryland last won the national title in 1975, the then-third-seeded Terps began their tournament run with a victory over Hofstra.

Things seemed to be headed in that direction until the Terrapins found themselves trailing 5-4 midway through the third quarter.

Hofstra junior midfielder Tim Holman ran onto the field as a substitute, intercepted Maryland goalie Brian Phipps' long pass at midfield and raced down the middle of the field and fired past Phipps, who had to recover to return to the cage. The goal, Holman's first of the season, came at the 8-minute, 40-second mark of the third quarter and gave Hofstra its first lead.

Maryland responded to its first deficit of the day by running off three straight goals as part of a game-closing 7-3 run to regain control of the match.

Sophomore midfielder Joe Cummings replied just 64 seconds after Holman's goal with an unassisted tally, sprinting past two defenders to create space for the shot to bring the Terps even.

Sophomore midfielder Jake Bernhardt then executed a give-and-go with Dan Burns and went low to beat Hofstra goalie Andrew Gvozden (13 saves) 2:30 later to regain the lead for Maryland.

Senior midfielder Dean Hart finished off the mini-run by wrapping around the cage on an extended run and finding space to Gvozden's right for a 7-5 Maryland edge with 2:43 left in the third.

"We fight for 60 minutes," said Cottle, whose team battled from behind to beat Georgetown, Navy and Johns Hopkins this season. "We know there are going to be peaks and valleys and our guys just didn't want the season to end. We believe in ourselves to keep playing and we know it's a long game."

After Holman and Young traded fourth-quarter goals, emotions boiled over when Hofstra's John Antoniades and Young got into a confrontation after a collision. The players exchanged blows, but weren't ejected, with Antoniades receiving two one-minute, unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, while Young was assessed one.

Maryland managed to kill off Young's one minute, and then scored on the man-advantage, as senior midfielder Adam Sear's shot from the right wing padded the Terrapins lead at 9-6 with 7:17 to play.

"Every playoff game this year there's going to be tension between guys, and when something happens on the field we have to keep our composure," Young said. "This team has a lot of intensity. If we just jar it and put it in the right spots, we'll be okay."

Over the ensuing four minutes, Phipps (14 saves) came up huge to deny Hofstra two golden scoring chances, and Young and Will Yeatman scored to lift Maryland's advantage to 11-6.

Pride junior Jay Card scored two of his game-high four goals in the final 1:11, but he and Hofstra scoring leader Jamie Lincoln were held in check by Phipps and a stout Maryland defensive effort. Hofstra was held to less than 10 goals for the first time all season, and Lincoln, who entered the game with 33 goals and 20 assists, was held without a point.

Maryland opened the scoring 3:29 into the game, with junior Brian Farrell breaking the deadlock.

Hofstra responded three minutes later, after a Grant Catalino holding penalty gave the Pride an extra-man opportunity. Card converted the man-up chance, making a curling run and firing a shot past Phipps to even the score at 1-all.

Catalino, Maryland's leading scorer, atoned less than 90 seconds later, quickly restarting from the Hofstra end-line, running unguarded to within shooting distance and slotting a high shot over Gvozden's shoulder.

Maryland eventually took a 4-2 lead, but Hofstra scored the next three goals. Card tallied seven seconds before halftime, Kevin Ford leveled the score at 4-4 less than two minutes into the third quarter and Holman came up with his individual effort off the bench to give the Pride their short-lived advantage.

"They went as hard as they can for as long as they can, and a couple things didn't drop our way," said Hofstra coach Seth Tierney, whose team closed at 9-5. "In that third quarter we were up one and just waiting for the next play to happen, and that next play didn't happen."