Malone's four help Terps top UNC, 10-9

Maryland shoves aside beach thoughts, lifts overall record to 6-1

March 26, 2000|By James Giza | James Giza,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- The Maryland men's lacrosse team shouldn't have been here yesterday. Not on spring break.

The seventh-ranked Terrapins should have been off relaxing on the beach, their sticks packed away and their minds focused on anything but having to play No. 8 North Carolina.

But there's no such thing as a break when it's March and you're fighting for a spot in the NCAA tournament. The Terps didn't have any problem being here, prevailing, 10-9, before 2,456 at Fetzer Field.

"I'd rather be beating the Carolina Tar Heels," freshman midfielder Ryan Moran said.

Wish granted.

Chris Malone's career-high four goals helped lift the Terps in a tight-knit, physical game. Maryland coach Dick Edell said he never doubted that his team (6-1, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) would produce anything but its best effort, despite the mid-semester distractions.

"I don't think that the 41 kids ever deviated from preparing for this game," he said, "and I just couldn't be any happier for them than I am right now."

The Terps' play certainly proved his assessment. In a matchup that had five ties and four lead changes, the Terrapins appeared to have a bit more left at the end.

Trailing 8-7 after Matt Crofton of North Carolina (6-2, 0-2) scored with 4: 29 left in the third quarter, the Terps began their final surge. Brian Zeller (Loyola) scored in close after battling his way through the UNC defense to tie the game with 3: 43 to go.

The Tar Heels' Jon Manekin (Gilman) was hit with a slashing penalty on the play, and Maryland took full advantage of the extra-man opportunity.

Sophomore midfielder Mike LaMonica (Calvert Hall) converted a pass from Mike Mollot into a goal from the right side. With 3: 05 left in the third, the Terps held a lead they would not relinquish.

LaMonica rounded out the Terps' scoring with a behind-the-back rocket off a dish from Marcus LaChapelle (St. Mary's) with 7: 38 to go in the final quarter.

LaMonica said his unorthodox shot was one he had practiced before, but that he wasn't really sure how it went in.

"I guess it's like blind faith," said LaMonica, who finished with three goals. It was more than faith, however, that kept Maryland in the game in the first half.

Malone, a junior out of Loyola, made his presence felt in the first 30 minutes despite not getting the start. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound midfielder scored all four of his goals in the opening two quarters.

He scored the Terps' last three goals of the half, transforming a 5-3 Tar Heels lead into a 6-5 Maryland advantage at the half.

"It's not predicated on going to a particular youngster -- just when it's your turn, step up and make the play," Edell said about his offensive strategy. "[Malone is] a winner, man. He's a winner. I hope he captains next year's team."

It also didn't hurt that Maryland held North Carolina scoreless in the second quarter. In fact, after their fifth goal, the Tar Heels failed to find the back of the net for the next 22: 34. Maryland goalkeeper Pat McGinnis recorded five of his 12 saves in the second period.

Dave Klarmann, in his last season as coach at North Carolina, said his team's inability to maintain possession and convert opportunities after the first quarter did it in.

"We had lulls in the second quarter where we did not gain possession of the ball, and when we did we gave it right back to them," he said. "And defensively, we did a good job, but we turned the ball right back over on the clear. You don't want to give teams in Division I second and third chances."

Maryland 3 3 3 1 -- 10

North Carolina 5 0 3 1 -- 9

Goals: M--Malone 4, LaMonica 3, Poole, Hochstadt, Zeller; NC--Crofton 3, Sonke 2, Bell, Martin, Jonas, Will. Assists: M--Zeller 3, LaChapelle 2, Pich, Mollot; NC--Martin 2, Bell, Crofton, Sonke. Saves: M--McGinnis 12; NC--Blindenbacher 13.

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