Terps break down

UVa. breaks out, 13-4

Maryland suffers worst ACC loss in eight years

April 04, 1999|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,SUN STAFF

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Don't blame the injuries. And don't give too much credit to Virginia's defense.

When analyzing yesterday's disaster, Maryland needs only to look in the mirror to unravel the offensive debacle.

After taking an early two-goal lead, the No. 5 Terrapins melted down with a series of unforced errors and wild shooting, scoring just once in the final 54 minutes in a 13-4 loss to the No. 6 Cavaliers before 2,421 at Klockner Stadium. Virginia, meanwhile, showcased plenty of firepower behind St. Paul's School graduates Tucker Radebaugh and Conor Gill, who combined for five goals and seven assists.

How futile was Maryland?

The Terrapins (6-2, 1-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) misfired on 24 of their final 25 shots. They had more total failed clears and dropped passes (17) than shots on goal (12).

It was only the third time in 29 years that Maryland had been held under five goals, the first since its three-goal effort against Navy in 1992.

And Maryland seemed equally as perplexed following its largest margin of defeat to an ACC rival in eight seasons.

"I don't know what happened," attackman Scott Hochstadt said. "It was just a big breakdown. We couldn't get anything going."

"I don't really know what it was," midfielder Brian Zeller said. "It seemed like everything that could go wrong today, went wrong."

The Terrapins started off right, scoring on their first three shots for a 3-1 advantage just six minutes into the game. Maryland seemed fortunate at that point, receiving the first goals of the season from reserve midfielder Matt Brock and short-stick defender Jeff Shirk.

But don't try to search for any Maryland highlights after that.

Virginia (5-2, 1-0), which had lost four straight to the Terrapins, rattled off nine unanswered goals and shut down Maryland for 37: 15 to put the game away early in the third quarter. The Cavaliers' Drew McKnight scored and assisted Jamison Mullen in 30-second span early in the second quarter to break the 3-3 tie and begin the game-turning run.

The Terrapins refused to use the stress reaction leg injuries to attackman Marcus LaChapelle and midfielders Erik Osberg and Mike LaMonica as a scapegoat. The three players didn't practice all week, and LaChapelle and LaMonica saw only limited action yesterday.

"We do this as a team," Maryland coach Dick Edell said. "We're doing a lousy job as a coaching staff if I can't absorb the loss of a kid."

If the offensive production wasn't disturbing enough for Edell, he had to witness the self-destruction of Maryland's clearing game and its reliable faceoff tandem of Brian Haggerty and Chris Nohe.

Maryland, which had successfully cleared the ball to its attack end 85 percent of the time, had nine failed clears in 29 tries. In its 37-minute drought, the Terrapins turned the ball over five times during clears.

Then there was the unexpected collapse of the nation's top faceoff specialists, Haggerty and Nohe. Their Virginia counterparts, Jason Hard and David Jenkins, controlled 14 of 20 draws, including 10 of the final 13 faceoffs, to continually keep pressure on Maryland's defense, which matched its goals-allowed average in the first half alone.

"We couldn't win a draw," Edell said. "I thought their guys out-toughed our guys. I don't want to say it. It makes me sick to say that."

That could be the same reaction after reviewing the Terrapins' offensive execution.

In the last 24 minutes of the first half, Virginia scored six times with crisp ball movement for a 7-3 halftime margin and Maryland responded with four passing turnovers, three failed clears and 12 missed shots. It only snowballed into the second half, as the anxious Terrapins forced freshman goalkeeper Derek Kenney to make only one save.

"When we got down, I think people started to take the attitude of `I'm going to bring us back,' " Zeller said. "Instead of trying to be a team offense, we went to the goal one-on-one. That's not how we're successful."

Pub Date: 4/04/99

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