A volley of seven unanswered goals in the first half propelled No. 9 Maryland to a 13-9 upset of No. 4 Johns Hopkins yesterday before 5,211 at Homewood Field.
It was the first time Maryland (6-3) defeated Hopkins (4-3) at Homewood since 1976 and the first time the Terps have taken two straight from the Blue Jays since 1977. Maryland's win last jTC year ended a string of 13 losses to Hopkins.
Maryland coach Dick Edell isn't sure what to make of his team. The win came on the heels of the Terps' most lopsided loss (eight goals) to Navy in 29 years.
"From the outhouse to the White House," Edell said. "That was about as low as I've seen a team go in 25 years of coaching. I still can't explain it. Everybody performed at their lowest level."
After falling behind 4-1 late in the first quarter, Maryland scored the next seven while holding Hopkins scoreless for 15:13. Chris Dail, who finished with four goals, scored three times during the spree.
"Emotion," said Dail, a senior attackman from Bel Air. "We just played on emotion. We played well against North Carolina and Virginia, but lost to Towson State and Navy. It's unexplainable.
"We knew our backs were against the wall. I don't know what we would have done if we had lost -- I hate to think about it. The seniors didn't want to leave without going to the playoffs."
The Terps never trailed after assuming an 8-4 lead with the seven-goal outburst. They led on four other occasions by four, the last time at 11-7 with 11:20 left.
Hopkins gave the Terps a few anxious moments by inching within 11-9 with 2:49 remaining. But goals by Blake Wynot and Erik Elfstrum put it out of reach.
"When we play up to our capabilities," said Maryland defenseman Brian Burlace, "we can be one of the best teams in the country. We've shown we also can be one of the worst."
Hopkins coach Tony Seaman and assistant Dennis Townsend took turns blistering their team in the locker room. Their tirades cascaded out the open door to the hallway as they chastised the players for mental mistakes, failure to put in extra practice time during the week and inability to throw and catch.
"Go home, see your girlfriends and I'll see you at 4 o'clock [Monday]," Seaman yelled angrily.
As he emerged from the locker room, Seaman hurled an orange rind at a trash can and sat down wearily on a bench.
"I've never been so frustrated," he said. "We didn't throw and catch. Maryland didn't do anything we didn't expect. We'd take the ball away from them and then throw it right back.
"We probably threw the ball out of bounds five, six, 10, 20 times, I don't know. I've got no answers."
Seaman paused and, perhaps for the first time all day, thought ahead.
"Now we've got Navy," he said, referring to Saturday's game against the Mids in Annapolis. "They beat Maryland by eight goals."
The Terps, meantime, will play host to the fourth annual Atlantic Coast Conference tournament Friday and Saturday at Byrd Stadium.