Maryland shifts into gear late, draws away from Army, 16-12

Terps score seven straight in fourth to gain in NCAAs

May 16, 2004|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK - Ominous-looking clouds hovered over Byrd Stadium for much of last night's game between Maryland and Army in the first round of the NCAA Division I men's lacrosse tournament.

The downpour finally came with about five minutes left, but by then, the floodgates had already opened for the Terrapins.

Tied with the heavy underdogs early in the fourth quarter and looking very ordinary on offense, the Terps established dominance in the faceoff circle and found their shooting touch, with the result being seven straight goals and a 16-12 victory over the Black Knights before 4,265.

With the victory, the third-seeded Terps (13-2) moved on to the quarterfinals. They will face Princeton, the tournament's sixth seed and a 12-4 winner over Rutgers earlier yesterday, on Saturday at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville, Va. The Black Knights' season ended at 10-5.

"I thought Army played extremely hard, and they had a good game plan," said Terps coach Dave Cottle. "Winning the faceoffs in the fourth quarter were key. I thought we just had the ball more and we wore them down."

The Terps won only 17 of 32 draws but were 11-for-15 in the fourth quarter, when a total of 14 goals were scored, nine by the home team. Senior Drew Virk won nine in a row at one point, a streak that started late in the third quarter and was the key factor in the seven-goal run that turned a 7-7 nail-biter into a 14-7 lead.

"We won 60 to 70 percent going into the last quarter and then they won 11 of 15," said Black Knights coach Jack Emmer. "That's pretty unusual for that to turn around like that. That was the difference in the game."

Seven different scorers had a hand in Maryland's seven-goal surge, which ended when Army attackman Jim Wagner scored one of his game-high five goals at the 5:50 mark. Sophomore attackman Joe Walters, the Atlantic Coast.Conference's Player of the Year, led the Terps with three goals and three assists.

Sophomore midfielder Bill McGlone added two goals and two assists and the Healy brothers, Brendan and Ian, had two goals each. Senior defensive midfielder Paul Gillette also pitched in with two goals, the first multi-goal game of his career.

"I thought the first three quarters we struggled and we couldn't find a rhythm," said Walters. "I think in the fourth quarter, we shot the ball a lot better and found the open guy."

It appeared the Terps got their spark when freshman long-stick midfielder Ryan Clarke scored his first career goal to give his team a 7-6 lead at 4:55 of the third quarter. In transition, Clarke was trying to feed Walters near the crease, but the ball went through Walters and Army junor goalie Matt Darak for the goal.

That was one of Darak's few mistakes through the first three quarters. He had 15 saves entering the fourth period and 20 for the game.

But Army's goalkeeper didn't stand a chance in the fourth quarter.

Brendan Healy scored off a dodge to give the Terps a 8-7 lead with 12:09 left. Thirty-two seconds later, junior attackman Dave Matz came around the goal and finished from a tough angle.

Matz then became the feeder, threading a nice pass to Walters along the crease for the goal at 10:34, followed by goals from Mike Brown and Gillette as the Terps built their lead to 12-7.

McGlone and Ian Healy completed the run. Army sophomore attackman John Walker scored his fourth goal of the game to cut Maryland's lead to 15-9, but by then, the damage was done.

"We knew it was going to be a battle, but everything came together for us in the fourth," said Gillette. "The shots just started falling and we were able to have that outburst."

Army 3 2 2 5 - 12

Maryland 4 2 1 9 - 16

Goals: A-Wagner 5, Walker 4, Bokmeyer 2, Kostovic; M-Walters 3, McGlone 2, B. Healy 2, I. Healy 2, Gillette 2, Brown, Matz, Ritz, Clarke, Bordley. Assists: A-Bryan 2, Luyster, Wagner; M-Walters 3, McGlone 2, Brown, Hereth, Matz, Schwartzman, Smith, Virk. Saves: A-Darak 20; M-McGinnis 10, H. Alford 2.

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