UM stays familiar, wins at Towson

Terps 11-0 at Tigers' home after 12-8 lacrosse victory

March 09, 2003|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

Because the lacrosse teams from Maryland and Towson have the tendencies of the other down pat, each felt compelled to throw the unexpected into yesterday's meeting. The result was predictable, however, as the Terps, No. 3 in The Sun/ Channel 2 rankings, held off the 18th-ranked Tigers, 12-8.

The Maryland men never trailed after the 20th minute and ran their all-time record at Towson Stadium to 11-0. The 3,760 in attendance enjoyed the weather but turned their noses up over a combined 56 turnovers.

"Watch film of the two of us," Terps coach Dave Cottle said. "It's like watching yourself in the mirror. Towson changed some things, and forced us to think."

The newest member of the Towson staff is Buggs Combs, who led Maryland in scoring two years ago. He used to practice against a Terps defense that is regarded as the best in the nation, but the ploy came at the other end. When Maryland's first midfield was on, Towson played a zone defense. When the Terps (2-0) used their second unit, the Tigers (1-2) went man.

Towson's faceoff unit enjoyed great success last year, when it was coached by Paul Cantabene. Now he's an assistant at Maryland, which is facing off by committee and leaning on the matchups. That worked well enough for a 14-8 advantage against the Tigers.

"I can't begin to say how much Coach Cantabene has helped us," senior Ryan Moran said. "If you saw us on the first day of practice last fall, our mechanics were horrible. We did well against a real good team today, and our wings had a lot to do with that."

Paul Gillette, a junior from Severna Park who had six ground balls, and senior Brett Harper helped Moran win three of his seven faceoffs. Jeremy Pastula, who had attempted 10 faceoffs in his career, won 11 of 12. All that time of possession allowed the Terps to double the Tigers' shots through three quarters and apply pressure on a defense that struggled in a season-opening loss to Rutgers.

Sophomore goalie Reed Sothoron matched his career high with 12 saves and factored in Maryland's offensive inefficiency.

Maryland freshman Joe Walters, who had a shaky college debut against Duke, responded with four goals and an assist. Brian Hunt, the postgraduate who previously starred at Yale, had three and one. Moran had two goals and an assist. Ryan Obloj had 11 points in Towson's first two games, but he was held to three assists by All-America defenseman Mike Howley.

Maryland took eight of the first nine shots, but Towson forced a 4-4 tie in the fifth minute of the second quarter. The Tigers had two goals over the next 35 minutes. Walters scored twice in 26 seconds to give Maryland an 11-6 lead with 5:09 left. Hunter Lochte's third goal and another by Brian Myers closed the gap, but the Tigers had little left in their tank.

"The turning point was, they got [goals off] two deflections on our man down," said Towson coach Tony Seaman, who holds the Terps in high regard.

"I think Maryland is the best team in the country. Not many people are going to beat them."

Maryland 4 3 2 3 - 12

Towson 3 2 1 2 - 8

Goals: M-Walters 4, Hunt 3, Moran 2, Gillette, Healy, LaMonica; T-Lochte 3, Pfarr 2, Monaco, Myers, Rutledge. Assists: M-Daue, Healy, Hunt, LaMonica, Melzer, Mollott, Moran, Walters; T-Obloj 3, Florio, Monaco. Saves: M-McCormick 11; T-Sothoron 12.

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