UM's surge rocks Towson

After off-target start, Terps find range, top No. 3 Tigers, 15-10

March 10, 2002|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK - No. 9 Maryland converted just one of its 14 shots in the first quarter against No. 3 Towson yesterday. Coming off of a loss at Duke in which they shot 0-for-12 in overtime, was the Terps' anxiety a tad high after the first 15 minutes?

"What's the Yogi Berraism? It's deja vu all over again?" Maryland coach Dave Cottle said. "We hung in there, though, and you could tell on the sideline we weren't going to let a few errant shots bother us."

Controlling the tempo and their aim, the Terps ran off five straight goals in the second half and rolled to a 15-10 victory over the Tigers before 2,647 and about 45,000 empty seats at Byrd Stadium.

The game was up against the Atlantic Coast Conference men's basketball semifinals, but despite the rankings, this upset was not of the magnitude of the Maryland basketball loss.

None of these Terps had been involved in a game like it against a quality opponent, as the last time Maryland produced as much against a top 10 foe came in 1998, when it battered then No.-1 Loyola, 19-8, in the NCAA semifinals.

The losing coach that time was Cottle, whose offensive schemes are getting the Terps tons of chances.

Maryland outshot Towson, 61-28, even though the Terps (3-1) didn't want to run with the Tigers (2-1), who have returned their entire attack and much of their offense from the club that knocked off Maryland at Byrd in last season's quarterfinals, one of the biggest victories of coach Tony Seaman's 21-year coaching career.

Yesterday, the Terps actually passed up good looks as they ate time off the clock and kept the ball away from the Tigers, whose vaunted transition game delivered one goal.

The LaMonica brothers, Mike and Dan, outshot Towson by themselves. Defenseman Chris Passavia limited the touches of Brad Reppert, as one of the game's most complete attackmen was held to two goals and no assists.

"He did an excellent job," Reppert said of Passavia. "He pressured me all over the field."

There were career days all around for Maryland. Mike Mollot, the junior who alternates between attack and midfield with Mike LaMonica, pumped in five goals on just eight shots. Sophomore Dan LaMonica had three goals and three assists for his first six-point game. His brother collected three goals.

The Terps never trailed after Nate Watkins gave them a 2-1 lead in the opening minute of the second quarter. Mollot's score off a dodge put Maryland ahead 7-6 at halftime, and it was still a one-goal game after a pair by Tigers midfielder Josh Tankersley had them within 9-8 midway through the third quarter.

The Terps blew it open during a 10-minute stretch, however, as faceoff specialist Dan Carroll warmed up and the Tigers couldn't get the ball.

Dan LaMonica cleaned up a garbage situation that included Watkins' big check on Towson pole Danny Cocchi.

After Reed Sothoron, the freshman who relieved John Hunt in the Tigers' goal at the half, stopped both brothers from point-blank range, Mike LaMonica zipped in a laser from the right wing with four seconds left in the third quarter.

Mollot continued the run with two goals, and Craig Hochstadt completed it with 9:45 left to make it 14-8.

"We had a lot of turnovers," Seaman said. "We put the ball on the ground and we didn't pick it up."

Towson 1 5 2 2 - 10

Maryland 1 6 4 4 - 15

Goals: T-Campbell 4, Tankersley 3, Reppert 2, Monaco 2, Myers; M-Mollot 5, D.LaMonica 3, M.LaMonica 3, Watkins 2, Bordley, Hochstadt. Assists: T-Obloj 3, Myers, Reppert; M-D.LaMonica 3, Mollot 2, Moran 2, Poole, Morsell. Saves: T-Hunt 10, Solhorn 12; M-McCormick 8.

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