Terps spin wheels against Virginia in absorbing 10-2 loss

Maryland comes out flat

No. 3 Cavs take advantage

College Lacrosse

April 03, 2005|By David Selig | David Selig,SUN STAFF

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Heavy rain early yesterday afternoon caused soggy conditions for No. 4 Maryland's game against No. 3 Virginia in men's lacrosse, but it was the Terps' own sloppiness that led to a 10-2 Cavaliers win before 2,457.

Virginia (7-1, 1-0) doesn't keep track of turnover statistics, which was good news for the Terps (5-3, 1-2 ACC), who constantly gave the ball away and had a hard time finding the net with their shots.

"If you get 11 of 37 shots on goal, you're not going to win many games," Terps coach Dave Cottle said. "When we did have [the ball], we threw it away, and when we shot it, it was wide of the goal."

The Terps were also inconsistent on defense. All of those factors plus untimely infractions left them with little chance to win.

Illegal-procedure calls on the Terps during the first two faceoffs set up a diving goal by John Christmas and a one-hop score by Hunter Kass to put Virginia up 2-0 just 2:14 into the game.

Cavaliers attackman Matt Ward spun past Terps defender Steve Whittenberg and fired a shot past Maryland goalie Harry Alford to build the lead to three with seven seconds remaining in the first quarter.

The rain ended and the sun emerged as the second period began, but the Terps' quality of play didn't improve.

Early in the period, Whittenberg dropped the ball at his end under no pressure, leading to a goal by Ben Rubeor. On the play, Whittenberg was called for slashing to set up another score by Rubeor at 10:22.

The Cavaliers carried the 5-0 advantage into the half.

"They brought exactly what we thought they were going to bring," Whittenberg said. "They just executed a lot better than we did. We've just got to get better and learn from our mistakes."

The weather led to mistakes by both teams, but the Cavaliers were able to make the Terps pay for theirs by scooping up nine more ground balls and shooting with much greater accuracy.

Cottle said the Terps expected Virginia to come out aggressively after the Cavaliers lost to them twice last season - including in the ACC championship game - but didn't envision his offense starting out flat.

"When you don't score at halftime, you're not going to win a lot of games," Cottle said. "I thought our defense kept playing. I give them credit. And I thought our goalie was excellent."

If not for the play of Alford, who made 13 saves, the rout could have been much worse.

Joe Walters finally broke through for the Terps with a man-up goal with 4:51 left in the third quarter off a feed from Bill McGlone, and Xander Ritz scored unassisted in the fourth period to make the score 6-2.

Virginia answered with four goals to cap the win, including a behind-the-back finish from Christmas right in front of the net.

Offensively, the Terps couldn't create quality opportunities in the face of a stingy Virginia defense.

A slashing penalty against the Cavaliers early in the second appeared as if it would give the Terps a chance to edge back into the game, but they passed the ball around the perimeter and failed to get off a shot with the man advantage.

"I'd say offensively we just had an off day," Walters said. "There are times when we play great and times when we show a lot of heart, but we didn't execute [today]."

Maryland 0 0 1 1 - 2

Virginia 3 2 1 4 - 10

Goals: M-Walters, Ritz; V-Christmas 2, Rubeor 2, Ward, Poskay, Morrissey, Bateman, Kass, Riley. Assists: M-McGlone; V-Christmas 2, Gill, Little, Ward. Saves: M-Alford 13, Murphy; V-Turner 9, Petit.

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