Battle-Tested Terps Find Answer for Hofstra
by Gary Lambrecht | Special to Lacrosse Magazine Online | Game Blog
|Joe Cummings ignited Maryland's game-chaning, third-quarter run in an 11-8 win over Hofstra in an NCAA tournament first-round game.|
COLLEGE PARK -- Third-seeded Maryland, which is
bigger, quicker and deeper than Hofstra any day of the week, pretty
much outplayed the Pride from the opening faceoff in
Saturday’s NCAA Division men’s lacrosse tournament
It just took a good while for the Terps to turn those advantages into a victory. But once it all came together for Maryland in a physical second half that shined a light on Maryland’s defense, midfield and scoring balance, Hofstra was heading back to Long Island bruised and quite beaten.
Don’t be misled by the apparent closeness of Maryland’s 11-8 victory Saturday before 1,641 at Byrd Stadium, a win that sent the Terps (12-3) into next weekend’s quarterfinal round at Princeton. Maryland will face the winner of Sunday’s Notre Dame-Princeton, first-round matchup.
The difference between the two teams in College Park was laid out most clearly during a 20-minute stretch that spanned most of the second half, when the Terps knocked out Hofstra with a 7-1 run that erased and obliterated a 5-4 lead the Pride (9-5) had taken midway through the third quarter.
The biggest surprise of this game was that the Pride, after gaining an at-large berth despite failing to qualify for the Colonial Athletic Association tournament, was in the game that late. Maryland dominated ground ball play all day, out-shot Hofstra decisively, controlled the faceoff game, and only had two turnovers in the first half.
But there was Maryland, clinging to a 4-3 halftime lead. There was Maryland, trailing for the first and only time, 5-4, after junior midfielder Tim Holman scored on a 12-yard runner with 8:40 left in the third quarter.
Then, there went Maryland, pulling away to a commanding, 11-6 advantage with three minutes left in the contest.
“It wasn’t that we weren’t playing well. We played a very good first half, and we just couldn’t get away from [Hofstra],” said Maryland coach Dave Cottle, who is 7-1 in first-round games in nine seasons in College Park. “We knew we were playing a good team. Our guys just didn’t want the season to end. We fought and battled for 60 minutes. It kind of epitomizes who we are.”
The Terps, battled-tested in a very tough Atlantic Coast Conference, simply wore out the Pride with numbers and size and tenacity.
On a day in which both defenses were committed to neutralizing each other’s potent attack, Maryland’s depth at midfield came to the fore, as the Terps got seven scores from seven different midfielders. Ten players, led by junior attackman Ryan Young (two goals), scored for the Terps.
Hofstra was powerless to do much down low on offense, where its attack produced 142 regular-season points. Junior attackman Jamie Lincoln, the team’s leading scorer, was shadowed non-stop by close defenseman Ryder Bohlander, and got off one shot as a scoreless footnote. Junior attackman Stephen Bentz had one goal on two shots. And junior attackman Jay Card, the team’s leading goal-scorer, had a game-high four scores, but two of them came in the last 71 seconds of a game that was already over.
“[Maryland] has got some oversized bodies out there. They are long, and they lay on you. They keep coming at you,” Hofstra coach Seth Tierney said. “We wanted to knock them off their pins a little bit early. We got one and got up [in the third quarter]. We wanted the next play to happen, and it didn’t happen.”
Instead, Maryland happened. The Terps, who won the battles in ground balls (41-21) and faceoffs (15-for-23) easily and out-shot Hofstra through three quarters by a 30-18 margin, held their poise and never stopped coming with waves of middies.
Senior Bryn Holmes fueled the awakening by winning all six of his third-quarter faceoffs, and the Terps started getting to goalie Andrew Gvozden (10 first-half saves).
First, midfielder Joe Cummings dodged past short-stick midfielder Stephen DeNapoli to score from eight yards out and tie the game at 5-5 with 7:36 left in the third. Midfielder Jake Bernhardt finished a fast break with 5:06 left to give Maryland back the lead at 6-5. Midfielder Dean Hart nailed a 10-yarder to make it 7-5 with 2:43 left in the quarter.
After Tim Holman scored off the opening faceoff of the fourth quarter, Maryland put it away with four unanswered goals. Senior attackman Will Yeatman finished the run with a side-armed, 10-yarder from the left wing to make it 11-6 with 3:08 left.
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