Terps handed double blow as Duke wins semifinal, 8-7

OT loss may spell end to UM's NCAA hopes

April 20, 2002|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

DURHAM, N.C. - The Year of the Terp might not extend to men's lacrosse.

Maryland's hopes of gaining an at-large invitation to the NCAA tournament took a critical hit last night as Duke goalie A.J. Kincel had a sterling performance on the slick turf at Koskinen Stadium and Matt Rewkowski scored with four seconds remaining in the first overtime to deal the sixth-ranked Terps an 8-7 loss in the semifinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.

Rewkowski ended it two seconds after Maryland defenseman Michael Howley had been released from a 30-second pushing penalty.

It had been practically a must-win situation for Maryland (7-4), which dropped to 1-4 in one-goal games and 0-3 in overtime. The first of its losses occurred here March 2 when the Terps couldn't shoot straight and lost in double overtime. They also lost by the narrowest of margins to Virginia and to No. 2 Johns Hopkins.

"I have no idea," coach Dave Cottle said, when asked if the setback ended Maryland's NCAA hopes. "I thought we played a very good game. We doubled them in shots. Their goalie had an outstanding game. I think he beat us, a little bit."

Maryland outshot Duke, 43-22. Terps goalie Danny McCormick suffered through an off night, while Kincel registered 21 saves for No. 11 Duke (6-5).

Down 7-6, Maryland suffered through its 13th straight unsuccessful extra-man opportunity, but Mike Mollot's first goal of the game with 1:58 left forced overtime. It was the Terps' first goal in 17 minutes.

The Blue Devils will meet top-seeded and No. 1 Virginia in the championship game tomorrow (3 p.m.). The Cavaliers were easy, 10-3 winners over North Carolina in the first semifinal, which was delayed 90 minutes by violent thunderstorms.

Trailing 5-3 at the half, Duke went on a 4-1 run with some efficient possessions. The Terps had doubled the Blue Devils' shots, at 34-17, through 49 minutes, but then junior Kevin Brennan took a pass from Terrence Keaney and scored the winning goal with 10:04 left.

Duke took a 2-1 lead into the second quarter, but then Brian Carroll began to dominate the faceoffs and Maryland's offense established itself.

Nate Watkins scored and Mollot fed Mike LaMonica to give the Terps their first lead with 5:11 left in the half. After Alex Lieske (Gilman) scored in transition for Duke, Dan LaMonica assisted Ryan Moran, and Mike LaMonica had a slick finish of a Moran rebound to give Maryland a 5-3 lead at the half.

The attack of Conor Gill and freshmen John Christmas and Joe Yevoli has gotten most of the notice in Virginia's climb to the top of the rankings, but its defense ruled, as No. 7 North Carolina was held to its lowest goal total in 18 years.

The Cavaliers continued to close in on one of the four first-round byes in the NCAA tournament, while North Carolina (7-4) saw its bid for its first postseason berth since 1996 ended by its worst loss of the season.

Maryland 1 4 1 1 0 - 7

Duke 2 1 2 2 1 - 8

Goals: M-Moran 3, M.LaMonica 2, Mollot, Watkins; D-Lieske 2, Rewkowski 2, Brennan, Cassese, Fenton, Monfett. Assists: M-D.LaMonica, Mollot, Poole, Watkins; D-Keaney 2, Brennan, Davidson, Monfett, Wray. Saves: M-McCormick 6; D-Kincel 21.

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