Duke clicks, deletes UM men

Centennial grad Bross wins 11 of 16 draws, leads 10-6 upset for ACC title

April 23, 2001|By James Giza | James Giza,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

ORLANDO, Fla. - For Kevin Bross, everything came together so perfectly that he couldn't have planned it any better.

Taking faceoff specialist to its highest level, the Duke senior midfielder and Centennial High product won 11 of 16 draws, and the Blue Devils used a second-quarter run to upset Maryland, 10-6, in the Atlantic Coast Conference men's lacrosse title game yesterday.

The win in front of 1,212 at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex gave the second-seeded and 12th-ranked Blue Devils (10-4) their first ACC tournament championship since 1995 and denied the Terrapins, this year's regular-season winners, their first title since1998.

Managing only one goal in 16 extra-man opportunities and losing, 13-5, at College Park in March made the Blue Devils' victory that much sweeter.

"We wanted to play this team. There's no question about it," said Bross, who won 22 of 34 faceoffs for the tournament and was named its MVP. "I haven't had a good game against Maryland since my sophomore year. I stunk it up at College Park, and I stunk it up the year before in the first-round of the ACC tournament.

"I wanted it personally and as a team. They embarrassed us. We played awful. That was the worst Duke team probably ever assembled on the field at one time. This was the team we wanted to play. We needed some revenge."

The top-seeded and third-ranked Terps (10-2) now must focus on their last three games of the regular season against Mount St. Mary's, Yale and UMBC to prevent any slip-ups that could jeopardize a higher seed in the NCAA tournament.

"The fate of this season is in front of us," Maryland coach Dick Edell said. "Just look around at the landscape. Everyone has had a blip on the screen; some have had a couple. This isn't going to end right here, but I do think were sort of in a sudden-death mode."

Dan Chemotti got Duke on the board for the first time with 6:34 left in the opening half after Chris Hartofilis found him in the middle to even the score at 1.

Duke midfielder Kevin Brennan found the back of the cage nine seconds later after Bross won the faceoff and the ground ball went to Alex Lieske(Gilman), who found Brennan for the score.

Maryland leading scorer Andrew Buggs Combs (St. Paul's) responded with his only goal of the game off an assist from Jamie Daue (Boys' Latin) with 4:14 remaining in the second quarter, but the Blue Devils ran off the last four goals of the half over a span of 3:34 to take a 6-2 lead at intermission.

Edell said it was the season's worst defensive effort by Maryland, which entered the tournament second in the nation with 5.8 goals allowed per game.

Maryland worked its way back to 6-4 after junior attack Mike LaMonica (Calvert Hall) recorded his third and final goal of the game with 4:24 left in the third quarter, and again at 7-5 after sophomore attack Mike Mollot scored with 1:12 to go in the third.

But the Terps got no closer. Duke rattled off three unanswered goals to open the fourth quarter and push its lead to 10-5 with 5:46 left in the game.

"I don't know what was wrong," LaMonica said. "It just wasn't a team game."

Duke 0 6 1 3 - 10

Maryland 1 1 3 1 - 6

Goals: D-Brennan 2, Chemotti 2, Hartofilis, Lieske, Patchak, Cassese, Keaney, Regan; M-M.LaMonica 3, Mollot, Combs, D.LaMonica 1. Assists: D-Lieske 2, Brennan, Chemotti, Hartofilis, Patchak, Wray; M-Mollot, Daue, D.LaMonica. Saves: D-Dreslin 9; M-McGinnis 7.

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