COLLEGE PARK -- The University of Maryland dominated th first three quarters, then held off a last-period comeback, as the No. 6 Terps defeated No. 3 Johns Hopkins, 11-8, yesterday in lacrosse before 5,100 at Denton Field.
Maryland's attack was relentless in the first three periods against a previously solid Blue Jays defense for a 10-4 lead entering the fourth quarter.
But before the final period started, Johns Hopkins midfielder and faceoff specialist Steve Vecchione was checked for an illegal stick, and it later was found to be too short, resulting in a three-minute penalty.
Instead of quickening the pace, Maryland (7-2) went to a deliberate offense, running off the penalty time before taking a shot with 10 seconds left.
The Blue Jays (5-3) seemed inspired by the turn of events. Goals by attackman Jeff Wills and midfielder Todd Cavallaro brought Johns Hopkins within 10-6 with 6 minutes, 47 seconds left in the game.
Maryland midfielder Don Reading scored with 5:20 left to make it 11-6 before Johns Hopkins got two goals from Wills, the last with 1:41 remaining, to cut the lead to 11-8.
But any chance of a comeback was halted when Johns Hopkins was given a one-minute slashing penalty with 51 seconds left in the game.
"We didn't quit," said Johns Hopkins coach Tony Seaman. "We kept playing till the end, when we started finding the open man. But Maryland played well, especially early hustling for the ground balls and getting a couple of goals off the transition. I would have liked another five minutes."
Maryland coach Dick Edell might have liked to have changed his mind about slowing the ball.
"In all honesty, I didn't know how to handle it," said Edell, laughing. "You're up, 10-4, against Johns Hopkins and what do you do? I've never been in a situation like this with such a big lead and a three-minute penalty against them.
"We could call it a learning experience, but I don't know what the hell I learned from it yet. I'm going to go home and think about it. It was all reaction. I didn't have a long time to think about it."
Fortunately for Edell, his team had built its big lead. Terps attackmen Mark Douglas (five goals) and Rob Wurzburger (two) and midfielder Blake Wynot (one goal, two assists) were too much for Johns Hopkins.
And Maryland's defense, led by defender Brian Burlace, manhandled Johns Hopkins' offense in the first three periods. Burlace shut out Johns Hopkins' leading scorer, attackman Matt Panetta, who previously had 16 goals and 20 assists.
"This was a big win for us, maybe the biggest since I've been here," said Douglas, a senior. "Johns Hopkins plays real good defense and we have a pretty good attack, but today we were hot."
Edell said: "Brian Burlace is a great defender, and I think he did as good a job today as can be done."
Maryland controlled the tempo in the first quarter, but held only a 3-2 lead at the end of the period. But after the first three minutes of the second quarter, the shots started to fall.
Wynot, sandwiched between a defender and goalie Scott Giardina, scored on an underhand shot from the left of the crease with 11:39 remaining in the half to give Maryland a 4-3 lead.
Then Douglass scored on a fast break nearly two minutes later and picked up a loose ball just outside the crease to score another goal with 3:28 left in the half to give Maryland a 6-3 lead.
Johns Hopkins midfielder Brian Lukacz scored a man-down goal with 2:12 left, but Wurzburger scored with 14 seconds remaining to give Maryland a 7-4 lead at the half.
Douglass dominated the third period, scoring three. The Terps defense continued its domination, shutting out Johns Hopkins in the quarter despite three minutes of penalties.
Johns Hopkins 2 2 0 4 -- 8
Maryland 3 4 3 1 -- 11
Goals: JH--Wills 3, Tierney, Lukacz, Vecchione 2, Cavallaro; M--Douglas 5, Wurzburger 2, Schoenweitz, Wynot, Elfstrum, ,X Reading. Assists: JH--Cody, Morrissey, Burns; M--Wynot 2, Wurzburger, Parks, Bullen, Schoenweitz. Saves: JH--Giardina 9; M--Kavovit 17. Shots: JH 31; M 40. Faceoffs: JH 10; M 13. Ground balls: JH 50; M 52.