UMBC sticks to coach's game plan, stuns No. 3 Maryland, 15-13

May 05, 1991|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Sun Staff Correspondent

COLLEGE PARK -- In the end, the day belonged to Dick Watts.

Watts stunned the lacrosse world and his critics yesterday, coaching unranked University of Maryland Baltimore County to a 15-13 victory over third-ranked Maryland at Denton Field.

It was one of the major upsets of the 1991 season and will moslikely cost the Terps (8-4) a bye in the opening round of the 12-team National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament and the home-field advantage in the quarterfinals.

The win touched off a wild celebration by UMBC (8-6) thaincluded Watts being drenched with a bucket of water by his two goalkeepers, Bob Bailey and George Antonopoulos.

Watts, a veteran of 21 seasons at UMBC, had almost all thanswers for the Terrapins yesterday.

Watts put together an effective game plan and never backed ofthat plan even when Maryland scored four straight goals in a little less than five minutes to tie the game at 9 with 11 minutes, 12 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

Watts didn't call a timeout when Maryland made its run, allowinhis players to stay out on the field and answer every challenge with a goal.

"I think you have to make a decision to change, or not to changeyour game plan," said Watts. "And I didn't see any need to change since we were playing well. It wasn't broke, so I didn't see any need to fix it."

Watts said he instructed his players yesterday to "go right athem, run the offense and be patient."

This strategy worked perfectly because Maryland didn't come tlife until it was down, 9-5, with a little more than a minute left in the third quarter.

By that time, UMBC was so sky high that not even eighTerrapins goals in the last 16 minutes could bail out the home team.

"I'll be honest with you, we were looking by them. They're better team than we thought," said Maryland senior attackman Mark Douglas, who led the Terps' late charge along with senior attackman Rob Wurzburger. "Our coaches knew it, but it apparently never got through to the players. I noticed we were in trouble in the first quarter. It didn't take me until the score was 9-5 to know something was wrong."

Douglas and Wurzburger each had five goals yesterday, witWurzburger becoming Maryland's all-time leading goal-scorer with 129, surpassing Frank Urso who had 127 from 1973 to '76.

Douglas tried desperately to go out a winner in the finaregular-season home game of his career. He tied the game at 12 with 3:06 left when he knocked the ball out of goalkeeper Bailey's stick and scored from 10 yards out while lying on the turf.

But 12 seconds later, UMBC defenseman Chris Cain scored onlhis second goal of the season with a daring -- to the net off the ensuing faceoff for a 13-12 advantage.

"The goal by Chris Cain was the big one," said UMBC freshmafaceoff specialist Jamie Batley. "When a long stick [defenseman] scores on you like that it's demoralizing."

Cain said: "I picked up the ball on the faceoff and saw a lanopen. I was surprised to be so open and went right to the goal to score."

After Cain's goal, UMBC junior midfielder Alex Arthur scored jus35 seconds later on a nifty one-on-one move toward the net to increase their lead to 14-12.

However, Wurzburger answered with an extra-man score with 5seconds on the clock and there was still some life in the reeling Terps, who were down 14-13.

But Batley came up with the faceoff after a wild fight for the baland scooped it into the net with 44 seconds left to finally silence Maryland.

Arthur led UMBC with four goals and Steve Marohl had thregoals.

Maryland coach Dick Edell said: "Our players kept saying alweek they were ready, but it was false. There was no emotion on the bench from the start. We had 37 kids looking past UMBC. The signs were all there."

Edell said his team was in a no-win situation yesterday.

"If we win and go to 9-3, we're still third-seeded going into thtournament," said the Maryland coach. "But if we lose, it's devastating in terms of our postseason ranking."

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