UMBC survives, makes its case

Terps rally falls short

Retrievers' 7-6 win boosts NCAA hopes

May 09, 1999|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK -- UMBC was shut out in the second half yesterday, but the Retrievers may have achieved a much bigger goal -- getting to the NCAA tournament.

UMBC staked its claim to a tournament bid, but it had to overcome a furious Maryland rally and its own offensive ineptitude in the second half to do so.

Failing to score in the final 33: 26, No. 11 UMBC withstood a Maryland four-goal comeback run, persevering to a 7-6 triumph over the No. 10 Terrapins in front of 2,473 at Byrd Stadium on the final day of the regular season.

The Retrievers (11-3), who led 7-2 with 3: 26 left before halftime, had to sweat out the second half in the hot sun to record their eighth consecutive win -- the longest in their 19-year Division I history. Goalkeeper Andrew Hampson single-handedly carried UMBC farther off the bubble, stopping Maryland's last four shots on goal to shut out the Terrapins for the final 11: 46.

The Terrapins (9-5) had one last opportunity to tie the game in the final minute, but goalkeeper Kevin Healy's clearing pass sailed over the head of Erik Osberg and out of bounds.

"It was real tense," UMBC coach Don Zimmerman said. "When Maryland came back to within one at their place, they had all the momentum. And our kids rallied, did a good job of playing defense and were able to secure the win."

How much defense did UMBC have to play?

In the second half, Maryland outshot the Retrievers, 33-7, grabbed 24 of 38 ground balls and won four of the six faceoffs.

The Terrapins tightened the vise in the fourth quarter, scoring three times in a span of 1 1/2 minutes to trim the deficit to 7-6 with 11: 46 left. Close defenseman Chris Lamy pulled Maryland to within one by converting a fast-break goal off UMBC's second straight turnover to open the period.

In fact, take a peek at UMBC's fourth-quarter totals: five turnovers, three failed clears, one offside call and just one shot.

Maryland, however, appeared very deliberate, shooting exclusively low on Hampson and trying to beat him to his off side. The Terrapins' last shot came with 2: 32 remaining, when Brian Zeller angled an attempt at Hampson's feet from about 12 yards out in front of the goal. With a clear view of the shot, Hampson dropped down to smother it for the last of his 18 saves.

Zeller and fellow Terrapins second-team All-American, Scott Hochstadt, combined for no goals on 18 shots.

UMBC fired its only shot of the fourth quarter with 1: 52 left and then went on extra man for the first time in the game just 14 seconds later when Terrapins defender Geoff Burnham was flagged for slashing. The Retrievers successfully held the ball for the next minute, but turned the ball over with 26 seconds left as Josh Hahn's 30-yard pass flew past John Harasym and out of the attack area.

Setting up a Maryland clear, Healy tossed an outlet pass beyond the reach of Osberg in a breakdown of communication with 21 seconds left on the scoreboard. The Retrievers then avoided several double teams and ran out the clock.

As the few seconds ticked off, the UMBC players on the bench began bouncing on the sideline before emphatically piling on one another as the final whistle sounded.

It's a far cry from the end of March, when UMBC watched its playoff aspirations wither during a three-game skid. But the Retrievers haven't lost since a March 27 defeat to Penn State.

"I'm pleased with the way our kids kept their focus all week," said Zimmerman, who guided UMBC to its first NCAA tournament appearance in school history last year. "We knew we had to come down and win. We did and now hopefully the committee will pick us as one of the teams to go to the NCAA tournament because I think we deserve to go."

Maryland, which has victories over the other bubble teams in Navy and Penn State, probably missed on an opportunity to play at Towson in the first round and may be shifted to Providence, R.I. But some Terrapins believe coming one goal short yesterday may jeopardize their ninth straight NCAA tournament berth.

"With a win, you know what is going to happen; with a loss, you hope it's going to happen," Terps coach Dick Edell said. "Hopefully, we'll get to play another game."

UMBC 4 3 0 0 -- 7

Maryland 0 2 1 3 -- 6

Goals: UMBC--Hard 3, Turner, Marohl, Hahn, Gibson; M--LaChapelle 2, Watkins, LaMonica, Malone, Lamy. Assists: UMBC--Harasym, Turner, Ratcliffe; M--Malone. Saves: UMBC--Hampson 18; M--Healy 8.

Pub Date: 5/09/99

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