PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- For three days, Maryland lacrosse star Andrew Whipple practiced hurt. Yesterday, he put the hurt on Hobart.
A thumb injury suffered earlier in the week didn't stop Whipple from scoring a career-high five goals, which helped the fifth-ranked Terrapins beat the No. 10 Statesmen, 21-12, yesterday in the opening round of the third annual Fleet Lacrosse Invitational.
The Terps (9-3) will play host to Brown University in today's final at 1 p.m., and Hobart (6-5) plays Boston College in the second game.
"The thumb might be a sprain, but I really think it's broken," said Whipple, a freshman who is third on the Terps with 21 goals. "I haven't really had it looked at yet, and it doesn't matter. I was playing this weekend. These games are too important."
Whipple had a lot of help offensively, as 12 Terps scored. Kip Fulks had three goals, Matt Hahn, Todd Evans and Peter Hilgartner added two each, and Rob Chomo chipped in with a goal and four assists. Junior midfielder Graham Niemi added his first career goal.
Yesterday's victory halted the Terps' 1-3 skid and kept their hopes alive for an opening-round bye in the NCAA tournament, which begins in less than two weeks.
"If we can take care of business, win these games this weekend and then next week [against UMBC], then we still have a shot for a bye," said senior attacker Chomo, who collected all of his assists on goals by Whipple.
Chomo and Whipple were at their best in the second quarter, when Maryland rolled up nine scores in building a 14-8 halftime lead.
The goal that might have hurt the Statesmen the most came with two seconds left until halftime, after Chomo fed Whipple with a perfect inbounds pass and then watched as the freshman bounced it home for his fourth goal of the half.
"It wasn't a set play or anything," said Whipple. "My man was playing with his back to me, and Rob noticed. We gave each other a look, I broke open, and the pass was there. Rob's such a smart feeder, he makes my job real easy."
The only thing that wasn't easy for Whipple was handshakes after the game. He opted to use the left hand for that.
"Actually," Whipple said afterward, "the thumb feels a lot better when you're able to score."
Brown 15, Cornell 12
Junior goalkeeper Greg Cattrano scored his first career goal and the eventual game-winner as No. 9 Brown (8-4) topped No. 17 Cornell (7-5) in yesterday's other game of the round-robin Fleet Invitational.
L The Bears clinched at least a share of the Ivy League title.