UM men finish strong, 19-9

Terps end regular season with win over UMBC, await word on tournament berth

May 05, 2002|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

Unless the NCAA tournament selection committee members are staunch believers in the power of last impressions, the Maryland men's lacrosse team's 19-9 victory over host UMBC yesterday may be a classic case of too little, too late.

Senior Mike LaMonica had a career-high six goals and two assists, and sophomore Dan LaMonica and junior Ryan Moran had three goals apiece as No. 7 Maryland (9-4) erased a slim early deficit with seven straight goals in a rout of the Retrievers (5-7) before 1,553 at UMBC Stadium.

Undoubtedly, the knock against the Terps making the tournament field will be that they lack a win against a top-10 team. UMBC is not in that caliber, but Maryland still had to take care of business, and it did, playing one of its finest all-around games.

"If we lost today, it would have been about us. Now it will be about the committee making the decision," Maryland coach Dave Cottle said. "We think we are one of the top six teams in the country. We think that, and somebody else is going to have to make the decision whether it is true or not."

The Terps fell behind 2-0 less than two minutes into the game, when junior Scott Steele and Justin Smith scored. Smith led the Retrievers with four goals and one assist.

But that's when Terps senior faceoff ace Brian Carroll took over. Working mostly against UMBC freshman Kevin Ashe, Carroll won six of seven in the first quarter and eight of 10 in the second.

"That exemplified what we are dealing with," said UMBC coach Don Zimmerman. "I think the freshman got exposed a little bit, and the senior had a good day."

Moran scored off a Mike Mollot feed, then Dan LaMonica beat Retrievers goalie Tim Flanagan (13 saves) to tie the game.

Mollot capitalized on an unsuccessful clear with a goal, followed by a quarter-closing Mike LaMonica goal to make the score 4-2.

The Terps piled on with goals from Nate Watkins, Moran and Dan LaMonica to make the margin 7-2, before Smith scored his second goal for UMBC.

Mike LaMonica and Pat Muston traded goals, then the Terps closed the second with three straight goals -- one each by Dan and Mike LaMonica and one by junior Mike Brock -- to take a commanding 11-4 lead into intermission.

"When you keep winning faceoffs, a team has trouble clearing a little bit, and you keep getting shots on, eventually they'll fall," said Cottle, whose team got nine saves from junior Danny McCormick. "I thought we probably shot better in the first half than we did all year."

Even with the decisive nature of the win, Mollot was one Terp who wasn't too optimistic about his team's NCAA chances.

"I don't think this does much for us to be honest with you. I thought if it was close, it would have killed us," said Mollot, who had a goal and three assists. "I don't know what is going to happen, but I think our chances are pretty slim."

Maryland 4 7 3 5 -- 19

UMBC 2 2 2 3 -- 9

Goals: M--M. LaMonica 6, D. LaMonica 3, Moran 3, Watkins 2, Mollot, Brock, Harper, Urlock, Schwartzman; U--Smith 4, Steele, Muston, Berry, DiPace, Shiley. Assists: M--Mollot 3, Watkins 2, M.LaMonica 2, Daue, Morsell, Matz, Poole, Luciano; U--Smith, Stringer. Saves: M--McCormick 9, Behm 0; U--Flanagan 13, Cepelak 2.

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