As usual: Maryland 6, Navy 5

For 4th time in row, Terps edge Mids by identical score

April 06, 2002|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK - Death, taxes and Maryland 6, Navy 5.

There are certainties in life, and certainties in lacrosse, as the Terps beat the Mids by that score for the fourth straight time last night. Separated by four goals over four meetings, the seniors on both sides at Byrd Stadium shook their heads.

Limited to three goals and 15 shots through 58 minutes, No. 16 Navy got two quick scores to draw within a goal with 22 seconds remaining. The Mids won the faceoff and called time, but Terps defenseman Chris Passavia stripped Ben Bailey to extend a very odd streak.

"This is above me. This is divine intervention," Maryland coach Dave Cottle said. "You could see Navy coming, and Passavia made the play of the game."

No. 6 Maryland won for the 10th straight time in the series. It wasn't the biggest news produced by Maryland athletics this week - there was a big men's basketball game in Atlanta last Monday - but the Terps will play at Johns Hopkins a week from today, and they needed some momentum to take into their other non-conference grudge match.

Jeff Fellows ended a 29-minute goal drought for Navy with 1:07 left and Bailey's third goal made Maryland sweat.

Navy wasted six extra-man chances and scored once over a span over 45 minutes against a defense that is the nation's best statistically. Maryland goalie Dan McCormick needed to make just four saves, Mike Morsell chipped in his first hat trick against an opponent other than Mount St. Mary's and Dan LaMonica had a goal and three assists, his fifth four-point game of the season.

A week after the Mids had embarrassed themselves in a 14-7 loss to ECAC foe Georgetown, Navy coach Richie Meade couldn't fault his team's effort.

"It's frustrating to lose, but we came away feeling better about ourselves than we did last week," Meade said. "The Georgetown game wasn't acceptable, and it's not indicative of Navy lacrosse. Our players were challenged in practice this week, and they responded."

Maryland took a 6-3 lead into the fourth quarter, but then its offense went back to sleep and in the end applied unnecessary pressure on the defense, which limited Navy to six shots over the two middle quarters.

Under Cottle, the Terps' offense was supposed to open up this season, but Maryland seemed puzzled by Navy's defensive scheme and went nearly 20 minutes between shots. Navy drew a 30-second penalty off the opening faceoff and Morsell put Maryland on top three seconds after the teams were all even, but then the Terps went into a flat-footed funk.

Navy's patience added to Maryland's misery, and Bailey converted two extra-man chances to give the Mids a 2-1 lead with 43 seconds remaining in the first quarter, as the Terps had one shot through the first 19 minutes.

Maryland picked up its footwork and ball movement and scored three goals in a little more than seven minutes to go up 4-2 with 2:23 left in the half.

Morsell finished some fine motion. Ryan Moran whipped in a behind-the-back shot off a feed by LaMonica, who was then assisted by Nate Watkins. Greg Conklin's goal with 14 seconds left in the half cut the difference to 4-3 and made it easier for Cottle to get the Terps' attention in the locker room.

Morsell was fed by LaMonica, whose brother, Mike, completed the Terps' scoring with 1:52 left in the third quarter. Metal was Navy goalie Jon Higdon's best friend in the second half, when three of Maryland's shots hit pipe.

NOTE: Maryland added All-Atlantic Coast Conference wide receiver Guilian Gary to its roster.

Navy 2 1 0 2 - 5

Maryland 1 3 2 0 - 6

Goals: N-Bailey 3, Conklin, Fellows; M-Morsell 3, D. LaMonica, M. LaMonica, Moran. Assists: N-McKinnon 2, Pittard; M-D.LaMonica 3, Mollot, Morsell, Watkins 1. Saves: N-Higdon 9. M-McCormick 4.

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