UM pins 15-11 loss on Towson

Terps stay focused, improve bid chances

May 06, 1999|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,SUN STAFF

Maryland lacrosse coach Dick Edell fixed his eyes on the scoreboard after the game and let out a laugh.

Receiving goals from some unlikely areas, the No. 10 Terrapins scored five consecutive times in the second half to pull away to a 15-11 victory over unranked Towson last night before 1,536 at Minnegan Stadium, providing Edell several reasons to smile.

Maryland (9-4) eclipsed the 10-goal ceiling for the first time in 39 days, ending a single-digit stretch of five games -- the Terrapins' longest in 47 years.

More importantly, the Terrapins inched further off the bubble, most likely securing an NCAA tournament bid before heading into Saturday's game against No. 11 UMBC.

Towson (4-8) lost for the eighth time in nine games and matched its worst single-season loss total since 1982.

"We had a lot to play for," said Edell, whose Terrapins haven't lost to a school outside the nation's top four and has significant victories over Penn State, Navy and North Carolina. "And we got the win."

Using Scott Hochstadt's backup stick, Brian Zeller tied a career high with five goals, but it was an unusual offensive cast that lifted the Terrapins to double figures for the first time since March 27. Maryland also won back-to-back games for the first time since that date.

"Boy, it's been a long time. Let's hope they leave that thing on for a while," said Edell, staring at the "15" on the scoreboard. "I'm not sure some of those lights worked up there."

Zeller broke a 6-6 tie 1: 40 after halftime, scoring an extra-man goal with a cut over the middle. Then, the Terrapins rode a surprising wave of scorers.

Jon Kemezis scored his first goal in six weeks, giving the Terrapins an 8-6 lead with seven minutes left in the third quarter. Meanwhile, the Tigers still hadn't attempted a shot and actually set up Maryland's offense more times than their own with their sloppiness.

Fifty seconds after Towson threw a cross-field pass out of bounds, Terrapins freshman midfielder Alex Poole recorded his first career goal on a dodge down the right side.

After another Towson turnover, Zeller made the Tigers pay, bouncing in a shot with 58 seconds left in the third quarter. Maryland's Marc Sullivan added the finishing touches to the 5-0 surge, scoring in an extra-man situation for just his second goal of the season for an 11-6 lead 1: 13 into the fourth quarter.

"We're playing the same offense, just executing better," Zeller said. "We're finally doing what we're supposed to be doing all along. We're spreading the field, making the dodge and moving the ball."

The Tigers, who were held scoreless for 25: 44 in the second half, never got closer than three goals the rest of the game. Maryland, which remains undefeated at Minnegan, expanded its margin to 14-8 with five minutes left in the game before Towson scored three times late.

"Our offense didn't get it done," said Towson coach Tony Seaman, who has lost more than seven games in a season for the first time in his 18-year college coaching career.

"We had some good cuts and our passes weren't right there against a good defensive team."

Towson responded to every Maryland goal in the first half, tying the game four times. But Maryland's attack initiated its own opportunities by pressuring the Tigers' defensemen on clears.

The Terrapins exposed Towson's below-average stick work on defense and forced 12 failed clears in 27 attempts. Gaining more possessions, Maryland outshot Towson, 51-28, and its four third-quarter goals actually equaled the Tigers' shots that period.

"We just wanted to play their hands," said Hochstadt, who scored four times. "And we went back to our old-fashioned offense."

Maryland 4 2 4 5 -- 15

Towson 3 3 0 5 -- 11

Goals: M--Zeller 5, Hochstadt 4, Osberg 2, Kemezis, Poole, Sullivan, Combs; T--Sturm 4, Ford 3, Ross 2, Murray, Paradise. Assists: M--LaChapelle 3, Poole 2, Hochstadt, Osberg, Kemezis, Watkins, Malone; T--Ford 2, Paradise 2, Ross, Smith, Sturm, Wohltmann. Saves: M--Healy 14; T--Hudson 11, Meyran 0.

Pub Date: 5/06/99

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