No. 7 Terps halt skid vs. No. 6 Jays at four

Maryland's Walters scores career-high eight points

Maryland 11 Johns Hopkins 4

April 16, 2006|By GARY LAMBRECHT | GARY LAMBRECHT,SUN REPORTER

Maryland was trying to stop a two-game losing streak, find its offense, and make a dent in a rivalry that Johns Hopkins has dominated for several decades. Last night at Homewood Field, behind senior attackman Joe Walters, the No. 7 Terps got everything they needed.

Walters scored a career-high eight points with six goals and two assists, and set the tone for an evening that belonged to Maryland, as the Terps turned the 102nd meeting between the schools into an 11-4 rout before 9,778.

Maryland (7-3) broke a four-game losing streak to the No. 6 Blue Jays (5-4) in the game's longest rivalry and won for only the third time in the past 12 tries against Hopkins. It marked the most lopsided victory by the Terps at Homewood since a 21-13 win in 1976, and Maryland handed the Blue Jays their worst home defeat since a 14-5 drubbing by Loyola in the 1999 home opener.

Hopkins, the defending national champion, has lost twice at home in a season for the first time since 1998.

Walters, who soon could become the top scorer in school history and is the only collegiate player to make Team USA for this summer's World Games, put on quite a show. He abused Hopkins junior defenseman Eric Zerrlaut with his dodging ability, found seams in the Blue Jays' defense while working off the ball, found open teammates with pinpoint passes, and shot well from the inside and outside.

Walters matched his career high in goals scored by producing a hat trick in each half. He pushed the Terps to a commanding 6-2 lead at halftime, then led them to an 11-3 advantage with 6:24 left in the game.

"Offense hasn't come easy for us this whole year. I thought we put together the perfect game on offense," Walters said. "We let the offense come to us. We didn't force anything. We had a lot of good possessions. I thought [the Hopkins] defense got frustrated. Our senior class hasn't beaten Hopkins in four years. There's no better way to go out."

The Terps have had their problems scoring. They entered last night averaging 8.3 goals and had only hit double digits twice this year.

But the Blue Jays accommodated Maryland with an impatient offense and a persistent inability to hold onto the ball, especially at the defensive end. During a disastrous second quarter, Hopkins failed on three clears - drawing derisive cheers from the home crowd when they finally did clear successfully - as Maryland dominated the time of possession and scored four goals.

The Terps clicked everywhere with their most complete performance of the year. They outshot Hopkins 37-21. They committed just nine turnovers, beat the Blue Jays consistently to ground balls, and seven of their goals were assisted. Senior midfielder Bill McGlone added two goals.

On top of that, junior goalie Harry Alford was on his game again. A week after getting pulled early in a 7-6 loss to Navy, Alford had to battle teammate Jason Carter in practice to regain his starting job. He responded with nine saves, including three early that took some steam out of Hopkins.

"I thought we lost our poise and composure," Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala said. "[Maryland] got a couple early, and the bench went quiet. Then, you start pressing, and we turned the ball over and turned it over again. You can't expect your offense to score and generate shots when you don't get them the ball."

Maryland solidified an NCAA tournament bid and also left the Blue Jays with work to do to secure their 35th consecutive tournament trip.

"We controlled the ball, we were smart, and we were great on the ground," Maryland coach Dave Cottle said. "When [Walters] got into a groove and started scoring, he was fun to watch."

gary.lambrecht@baltsun.com

Maryland 2 4 2 3 - 11

Johns Hopkins 0 2 1 1 - 4

Goals: M-Walters 6, McGlone 2, X. Ritz, Healy, Holmes; JH-Byrne, Duerr, Peyser, Christopher. Assists: M-Evans 2, Phipps 2, Walters 2, M. Ritz; JH-Byrne. Saves: M-Alford 9, Carter; JH-Schwartzman 11, Locey. A: 9,778.

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