COLLEGE PARK -- The Maryland Terrapins knew that Duke's senior-laden attack would be much improved over last season. What the Terps couldn't know was that their usually reliable defense would, in the end, give way.
After Maryland rallied from five goals down to take a one-goal lead in the fourth quarter, the Blue Devils' Scott Allen scored the game-winning goal with 1: 36 remaining as No. 9 Duke upset No. 4 Maryland, 11-10, yesterday in men's college lacrosse at the Astroturf Field.
It was just the second time in 15 years that Maryland failed to win its Atlantic Coast Conference opener.
"I had a mismatch from their defense and I tried to move the ball at first but I saw an opening and took the shot and luckily it went in," Allen said.
Maryland (1-1) had two chances to tie in the final two minutes but committed turnovers each time.
"We were very confident on the sideline that we were going to make the play there at the end but we didn't," Maryland coach Dick Edell said. "But the way we came back and the character we showed in doing that, it's going to benefit us over the course of the season.
In beating Maryland for the third time since 1993, Duke (1-0) had typically balanced scoring from seven players, led by John Fay's three goals. The Blue Devils also played inspired defense, holding the Terps scoreless for an 11-minute span over the second and third quarters.
Junior attackman Adam Whipple led Maryland with three goals, PTC and senior midfielder Todd Evans scored two goals.
"I think we made stupid mistakes on offense the whole game, no one was really moving and everyone was looking to go one-on-one rather than move the ball," Whipple said.
Each time the Terps gained momentum, Duke responded.
In the second quarter, after spotting Duke a two-goal lead, Maryland rallied to tie the game at 3, only to give up five consecutive goals.
Then after the Terps tied the score twice in the final quarter on goals by Erik Osberg and Brian Zeller, the Blue Devils scored two goals in the decisive final 6 1/2 minutes, and goalkeeper Joe Kirmser proved to be the difference.
While Maryland went scoreless over the final 7: 37, Kirmser made several superb stick saves, twice stopping close-range shots by Scott Hochstadt, then turning back a shot by Frank Radin during Maryland's furious attempt to tie in the final 16 seconds. Kirmser had 22 saves.
"Our defense is outstanding. We've got five seniors down there and that group is as good as anybody in the country," Duke coach Mike Pressler said. "For three quarters Maryland's attack didn't touch the ball."
The Terps' defense, however, shifted the game's balance early in the fourth quarter. Maryland erased a two-goal deficit to take its first lead, 10-9, on Whipple's third goal with 7: 37 remaining.
Before that, sophomore goalkeeper Sean Keenan twice denied Fay with stick saves and a clear by senior defenseman Dave LaChapelle set up a goal by Matt Hahn at 12: 55 of the fourth quarter that pulled the Terps within 8-7 after having trailed 8-3.
"When we went up five, I knew Maryland was going to come back," Pressler said. "But the difference between this year's team and last year's is that we have 13 seniors and when Maryland took its first lead of the game we didn't lose our cool."
Pub Date: 3/02/97