No. 13 Maryland answered two questions with its 13-12 overtime win at No. 9 Duke on Saturday.
The victory proved that the Terps (2-0, 1-0) could compete in the Atlantic Coast Conference after being the last-ranked ACC lacrosse team in the USILA preseason poll and going winless in the league for the first time in school history last year. They also showed that their midfield could be more effective on offense than predicted.
Senior midfielder Neal Dupcak (St. Mary's) tied the score at 12-12 with 11 seconds remaining on a long blast. Then he followed with the game-winner off a one-on-one situation against Blue Devils goalkeeper Joe Kirmser 1:26 into overtime.
Dupcak finished with a career-high five goals, which surpasses his three goals and four assists in 12 games last year.
"We really built this up as a big game," said Dupcak, one of Maryland's two senior midfielders. "Last year, we lost to Duke early in the season, and it got us off on a bad foot. This should give us the confidence we need because we really don't get any breathers during the season."
Dupcak's midfield line of junior Jon Brothers and senior Sean Crawford (Severna Park) accounted for nearly half the scoring as it combined for six goals and three assists.
"We kind of knew the game would be won or lost in the midfield," Dupcak said. "People in the preseason said that our weakness was our offense. So scoring 13 goals is pretty good for our first ACC game."
Bacigalupo wins at 'mecca'
Princeton goalie Scott Bacigalupo took special pride in the Tigers' 20-11 win at Johns Hopkins on Saturday.
As a freshman in 1991, Bacigalupo made his collegiate debut at Hopkins (a 15-10 win for Princeton).
"I really wanted to go out with a win at Homewood," said Bacigalupo, a senior from St. Paul's who has earned first-team All-America honors the past two years. "This is where I played my first game, and to come out with a victory as a senior against RTC Hopkins -- the mecca of lacrosse, as they say -- is terrific."
Tar Heels' streak ends
No. 2 North Carolina's streak of season-opening wins ended at seven with its 17-10 loss to top-ranked Syracuse on Saturday.
The last time the Tar Heels (0-1) started with a loss was 1985, when they lost to the Orangemen 14-13. That year, Syracuse also ended North Carolina's season with a 14-13 win in the NCAA tournament semifinals.
A familiar meeting
In a battle of area coaches, Fairfield topped Radford, 13-7, at Loyola College yesterday.
Fairfield (1-1), coached by former Loyola College and St. Mary's standout Tom McClelland, won only its third game in the program's two-year history. Chris Swanenburg, a 1990 Yale graduate who was part of Dulaney's 1986 state championship team, coaches the Highlanders (1-2).
Fairfield freshman goalie Sam Peterson (Broadneck) won his first collegiate game by making 28 saves.
A highlight for Hopkins
One of the few highlights for No. 4 Johns Hopkins in its 20-11 loss to No. 3 Princeton was the scoring of junior midfielder Chris Macon.
The 5-foot-10, 172-pound graduate of Gilman scored four goals in 10 shots. That matches his goal output from last year and is one shy of his total shots.
The Blue Jays have lost to Princeton in three of their past four season openers.