Disputed goal tops Terps in 2nd OT Referees huddle, make Va.'s 15-14 win official

March 30, 1997|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Pick your interpretation.

Sprinting in from the left side at full speed, Virginia freshman Drew McKnight dived right on the crease and slammed the ball past goalkeeper Sean Keenan with 2: 21 left in the second overtime to give the No. 2-ranked Cavaliers a 15-14 triumph over No. 4 Maryland at Klockner Stadium yesterday.

The referees, however, did not signal it a goal immediately. After the shot, they huddled in front of the goal before a silenced crowd of 2,579 and then raised their hands after a 10-second discussion.

Nevertheless, the question remains: Did McKnight step into the crease and interfere with Keenan?

"I don't think so," McKnight said. "It's a tough call."

On the Terrapins' side, Keenan said he had no doubt that the goal should have been disallowed.

"He knocked me into the goal," said Keenan, who made a career-best 16 saves. "The rules state that if the man hits you before the shot goes into the goal, it's interference. But it's the referees' call to make."

Virginia (5-2) has won four in a row and recorded its first one-goal victory in more than a year. Maryland (4-2) has lost five straight in Charlottesville, last winning in 1989.

It's the seventh time in the past 10 meetings that a Virginia-Maryland game has been decided by a goal. But this game wasn't close at the start.

The Cavaliers scored on three of their first four shots and built a 5-1 lead 5: 17 into the second quarter. Virginia then became sloppy, and the Terps jumped on every opportunity.

With the help of three man-up situations, a couple of failed clears by Virginia and a rebound in front of the cage, Maryland scored five times in 2: 59 to tie the game. Brian Reese grabbed up a loose ball off the faceoff, raced from midfield and scored an extra-man goal that pulled the Terps even at 6 with 1: 16 left before halftime.

"After the last two games, you can't say we don't have an identity," said Maryland attackman Peter Hilgartner, who had five goals and an assist. "We play the game hard. We play like every Maryland lacrosse team has."

After the Terps took their first lead at 8-6 early in the second half, Virginia answered with its own quick-striking run. The Cavaliers scored five times in four minutes, including three goals in 28 seconds to reclaim the lead at 11-8 with 5: 57 left in the third quarter.

After the Terps closed to 11-10, Virginia pushed the margin back to 13-10 when Michael Watson beat Maryland defenseman Dave LaChapelle from behind the goal 1 1/2 minutes into the fourth.

But the Terps battled back with four consecutive goals, taking a 14-13 lead with 4: 09 left in regulation when Scott Hochstadt beat a double-team and fed Hilgartner on the crease.

Maryland won the ensuing faceoff and had a chance to run out the clock. Instead, Terps midfielder Frank Radin attempted a pass into the middle of the defense, which was intercepted by Virginia's Karl Zeller with 1: 25 remaining.

"My biggest disappointment is we didn't hold onto the ball with a one-goal lead in regulation," Maryland coach Dick Edell said. "We didn't need to score a goal. We're going to learn from our mistakes."

One pass after clearing the ball upfield, David Curry made the Terps pay for that mistake, firing in a 12-yard shot with 1: 04 left to tie the game at 14.

After playing nearly six minutes of scoreless overtime with each team having numerous chances to score, McKnight made a tremendous dodge to convert the game-winner. It wasn't a set play -- McKnight decided to attack the goal because of a defensive switch by Maryland.

After having a close defenseman on him for every minute of regulation, McKnight drew a short-stick midfielder in both overtime periods, creating an easier opportunity to maneuver to the goal. The Terps had gambled by moving their long-stick defender to David Wren, a midfielder who scored three goals in regulation.

"We took a chance," Edell said. "And I'd do it again."

The controversial goal received opposing reactions from the coaches.

Edell questioned why the referees had to confer with one another and not make an immediate call. Virginia coach Dom Starsia, who talked to the officials before the game about how his attackmen frequently score around the crease, commended them on taking their time and making a group decision.

"My only concern was why they waited to signal the goal," Edell said. "I just wanted an explanation at the end. But you just don't ask the officials right?"

Maryland 1 5 4 4 0 0 -- 14

Virginia 4 2 5 3 0 1 -- 15

Pub Date: 3/30/97

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