Maryland men have little trouble with Navy in 10-4 victory

  • Maryland's Jake Bernhardt drives against Navy's Brian Striffler.
Maryland's Jake Bernhardt drives against Navy's… (Photo by Steve Ruark / Special…)
April 08, 2011|By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun

There would be no close finish this time.

In a series defined by bone-jarring hits and tight contests, the Maryland men's lacrosse team found its rhythm early and often en route to an almost routine 10-4 dismantling of Navy before an announced 6,993 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis on Friday night.

Eight of the previous meetings in the 82-year history of this series had been by one goal, but the No. 6 Terps made sure there would be no such dramatic ending this time.

Maryland (8-2), which entered the contest ranked sixth in Division I in scoring with a 12.0 goals-per-game average, scored the first two goals of the game in a 63-second span, added a second pair in a 48-second stretch, and then notched a third pair in a 12-second span — all in the first quarter. It was the first time this season that the Terps had scored six goals in the opening period.

"Any time you can get up on a team, it puts momentum in your court," said senior long-stick midfielder Brian Farrell, who shared high-scoring honors with junior midfielder Jake Bernhardt and sophomore attackman Owen Blye with two goals each. "We stayed calm, mentally focused, and that was the key."

Added coach John Tillman: "We emphasized all week, 'You've got to come out with energy and you've got to beat Navy at their own game.'"

Maryland opened the scoring 2:02 into the contest when senior attackman Ryan Young ran off senior defenseman Michael Hirsch on a screen set behind the net by Blye and waltzed around the right post to beat junior goalkeeper R.J. Wickham.

Sixty-three seconds later, junior midfielder Joe Cummings whipped a shot inside the left post from the right alley to give the Terps a 2-0 lead.

After Midshipmen sophomore midfielder Jay Mann scored on a runner of his own from the right alley with 11:27 left in the first quarter, junior midfielder Drew Snider answered with a goal at the 10:55 mark. Forty-eight seconds elapsed before senior attackman Grant Catalino drew a double team at the left point and passed the ball to Bernhardt on the left wing for a score.

Bernhardt upped Maryland's advantage to 5-1 with a sidearm shot from the right alley with 3:26 remaining. Twelve seconds later, Catalino faked a shot from the left wing, dipped past the extended stick of sophomore defenseman Peter Rogers, and scored from close range to cap the scoring in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Navy scored on a tic-tac-toe play in transition. Wickham stopped a shot and sent a long outlet pass to junior midfielder Nikk Davis. After crossing midfield, Davis passed to senior short-stick defensive midfielder Marty Gallagher at the right points, and he fed freshman attackman Tucker Hull for a point-blank shot with 6:30 remaining.

But on the ensuing faceoff, sophomore Curtis Holmes collected the ground ball and passed to Farrell, who beat Wickham from 15 yards.

Holmes, who entered the game ranked 10th in Division I with a 62.4 success rate, was just as solid against the Midshipmen, winning nine of 14 draws. He outdueled junior Logan West, who had won 54.9 percent of his faceoffs, and sophomore Evan McGoogan.

Meanwhile, the Midshipmen (4-7) did not possess the ball long enough to attempt to stage a comeback — a problem that hampered them in a 9-8 loss to Georgetown a week ago. In the first half, Navy won just three of 11 faceoffs, cleared the ball eight of 13 times, and was out-shot, 21-8.

"John [Tillman] was ready, they were ready," Midshipmen coach Richie Meade said. "Unfortunately, Navy was 10 minutes late."

Gallagher led the Midshipmen with two points — both assists. Wickham made a game-high 10 saves.

Notes: Both teams honored the memory of former Navy lacrosse player Brendan Looney, a Silver Spring native who was one of nine U.S. military personnel killed in a helicopter crash in September in southern Afghanistan. The Navy SEALs Foundation gave an American flag to Looney's family. … This was Tillman's first visit to Annapolis for a regular-season contest against his former employer. Tillman had spent 12 seasons with the Midshipmen as the offensive coordinator and head assistant coach.

edward.lee@baltsun.com

edward.lee@baltsun.com

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