Maryland executed a nearly perfect game plan against Virginia in yesterday's NCAA tournament quarterfinal, containing the Cavaliers' high-powered attack, winning most ground balls and controlling the majority of faceoffs.
Maryland's offense, however, sputtered at several critical moments and could not take advantage of opportunities to pull away from the Cavaliers. Virginia eventually won when Ben Rubeor scored with 31 seconds left in the first overtime to give the second-seeded Cavaliers an 8-7 victory in front of an announced 7,017 - a quarterfinal attendance record - at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
"This team improved as much as any team I have ever been around," Maryland coach Dave Cottle said. "We have a tremendous future. This hurts a little bit because we were in a position to win the game. We played our tails off."
The Cavaliers, who are shooting for their fourth national championship since 1999, play the winner of today's game between Syracuse and Notre Dame.
Virginia entered the game with the fourth-best scoring offense in the nation, averaging 13.19 goals. The Cavaliers were held well below that average, but they still got enough from their trio of talented attackmen to get away with a victory.
Rubeor (Loyola) led Virginia with three goals, Danny Glading added two and Garrett Billings scored one. Freshman Grant Catalino and Brian Farrell (Boys' Latin) each scored twice for the Terps. Maryland won 11 of 19 faceoffs and controlled 36 ground balls, compared with 22 for Virginia.
"It's been really great experience this year, and I didn't really expect us to do this well," Catalino said. "It's great we got some experience under our belt, and we can carry it to the next four years."
Eighth-ranked Maryland (10-6) got the start it was looking for when Catalino and Jeff Reynolds (Calvert Hall) scored 10 seconds apart for a 2-0 lead with 9:04 left in the first quarter. Brett Schmidt caught Virginia goalie Bud Petit (14 saves) out of the crease and fired a shot into the open net from 28 yards out for a three-goal cushion.
The Terps entered the game 9-0 when leading after the first quarter, but the Cavaliers (14-3) put a quick end to their momentum as Steve Giannone, Billings and Glading scored the game's next three goals to tie the score at 3 at the end of the first quarter.
"A credit to the Terps first and foremost. I thought they came out and carried the play to us in every way," Virginia coach Dom Starsia said. "I haven't been that angry at my team in a long time. It's not so much in my makeup to get after the guys, but the Terps were just beating us everywhere. I couldn't believe we were only down by two [at halftime] and still had a chance in the game."
Jason Carter started the second half in goal for Maryland in place of Brian Phipps, who had three saves in the opening two quarters. Maryland led 6-4 at halftime and increased its lead to 7-4 on a goal by Farrell with 9:40 left in the third quarter.
Virginia's offense finally began to click near the end of the third quarter, and back-to-back goals by Glading and Rhamel Bratton cut the Terps' margin to 7-6 with 2:39 left in the third.
Rubeor, however, scored the biggest goals of the game, tying the score at 7 with 8:43 left in regulation and then scoring the winner in overtime, capping a streak of four straight goals for the Cavaliers.
"As a team, we talked all week about wanting to spend one more week together," Rubeor said. "We came out here, and although we did not play our best game, we did earn it."
It was the third game between Maryland and Virginia this season. The Terps beat the Cavaliers, then ranked No. 1, 13-7, during the regular season, and Virginia avenged that loss by beating Maryland, 11-8, in the semifinals of the ACC tournament.
Maryland 3 3 1 0 0 - 7
Virginia 3 1 2 1 1 - 8
Goals: M- Catalino 2, Farrell 2, Sieverts, Reynolds, Schmidt; V-Rubeor 3, Glading 2, Billings, Bratton, Giannone. Assists: M-Sieverts 2, Holmes, Ritz; V - Carroll, Glading. Saves: M-Phipps 3, Carter 5; V - Petit 14.