Virginia stuns Maryland in ACC semifinal, 13-9 No. 1 Terps lose 2nd game of season

April 20, 1996|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,SUN STAFF

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- As the Maryland Terrapins gathered in a cluster near the sideline before the start of last night's second half, goalkeeper Brian Dougherty knelt alone behind the net, his head bowed and his eyes closed.

The first shot that came his way as play resumed struck the top post. Maybe the Terrapins did have a prayer after all. They had trailed Virginia since junior attackman Doug Knight's goal just 47 seconds into the game and were in need of a few breaks.

What they got were more breakdowns -- too many for even a late flurry of goals to overcome.

The defense, normally rock-solid, allowed too much penetration by the third-seeded Cavaliers. The offense remained quiet for too long. And the No. 1 Terrapins were beaten for only the second time this season, losing to third-ranked Virginia, 13-9, in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament semifinals before 3,395 at Klockner Stadium.

The Cavaliers (9-2) know the feeling, having lost to Maryland by ++ two goals last month when they were atop the USILA coaches' poll. They were held to a season-low 11 goals in that game, seven below their ACC-leading average, but matched that total last night with 2: 27 left in the third quarter when junior midfielder David Curry scored while the Terrapins were a man down.

Maryland (8-2) had failed to score twice in the quarter with Virginia short-handed before Curry upped the Cavaliers' lead to 11-4. The Terps were outscored 4-0 in the third quarter, then made a valiant run in the fourth, netting five straight goals to get to within 12-9. More than five minutes remained, but it wasn't enough.

"We're disappointed that we didn't come out on top," said coach Dick Edell, whose team was without junior attackman Peter Hilgartner because of a shoulder injury. "When we huddled up [after the game], our pledge to each other was, 'That's the last time.' We feel it's a sudden-death situation for us right now. We've got to get Rutgers [April 27] and UMBC [May 3], which will give us the home seed that we deserve. We've got to run the table. That's our goal and our desire, and maybe we'll see Virginia in a rubber game. The last one's the most important."

Virginia will meet No. 4 North Carolina, the top seed, in tomorrow's final. The Tar Heels (10-3), an 18-8 winner over No. 11 Duke in yesterday's other semifinal, had won seven straight tournament championships before losing to the Blue Devils in last year's final. They'll get another crack at the title largely because of senior midfielder Jason Wade, who tied a tournament record with six goals.

Maryland sophomore Bill Ruhl's goal from about 12 yards with 50 seconds left before halftime had cut Virginia's lead to 7-4. But the Terps were shut out in the third quarter and Virginia's attack didn't let up, scoring five straight goals before Maryland's Andrew Whipple tallied at 3: 59 of the fourth quarter to begin the run.

Whipple and freshman Scott Hochstadt each scored twice and Matt Hahn once in a span of 5: 30, throwing a scare in the Cavaliers.

Their fears were calmed by sophomore Chris Sanderson, who made two superb saves as Maryland fought to get closer. And when Virginia junior attackman Michael Watson scored into an open net with 31 seconds left, the upset was complete.

"I don't think we've played better for 45 minutes than we did tonight," said Virginia coach Dom Starsia. "That's why it was a little bit infuriating for me to see them get back in the game. I felt like we all of a sudden got a little undisciplined and sloppy and gave them opportunities to covert some things, and they took advantage of every single one of them. But we were good enough to win it."

Hockstadt led Maryland with three goals and Whipple added two. He had scored six in the earlier win over Virginia, but was defended much better this time by the Cavaliers' Tommy Smith.

"Tommy's a very proud player," Starsia said. "I knew he was going to be ready to play lacrosse."

Senior attackman Tim Whiteley had three goals and two assists for Virginia. Maryland's Dougherty collected 17 saves and assisted on one goal.

In the first game, the Tar Heels scored the game's first seven goals and were never threatened.

Wade, who tied a tournament record with six goals, downplayed the revenge factor. "It's more or less wanting to take the championship back home and this is the first step," he said. "We had to get by Duke to get to Sunday, and that's what we did."

The Blue Devils (5-6) scored three of the four second-quarter goals to trail, 9-4, at halftime, but North Carolina blanked Duke in the third quarter and put the game away.

Pub Date: 4/20/96

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