May 14, 2012

First Impressions: MD1 Quarterfinal Matchups

by LaxMagazine.com staff

Owen Blye led Maryland with four goals in an April 14 win at Johns Hopkins. The rivals will tangle Saturday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md.
© John Strohsacker/LaxPhotos.com 

Lacrosse Magazine writers at the games over the weekend asked the winning teams about their upcoming quarterfinal matchups. Here's what they had to say.

Johns Hopkins vs. Maryland, Noon Saturday at Annapolis, Md.

Now that Maryland outlasted seventh-seeded Lehigh, 10-9, in the first round of the NCAA Division I men's lacrosse tournament, the Terrapins can turn their focus to second-seeded Johns Hopkins.

Maryland (10-5), which earned an at-large bid into the tournament and is unseeded, meets Johns Hopkins (12-3) in quarterfinal action on Saturday.

Johns Hopkins advanced with a 19-9 first-round win over Stony Brook.

Coach John Tillman's Terps knocked off the Blue Jays 9-6 on April 14 at Homewood Field in Baltimore.

Owen Blye led Maryland with four goals that day as the visitors erased a 5-3 halftime deficit by outscoring Johns Hopkins 6-1 in the second half.

"They're a terrific team and to their credit they're playing well at the right time," Tillman said of Hopkins following his team's victory over Lehigh. "We were the underdog in our first-round game and I'm sure people will be picking against us again. But we'll come to play."

Senior Joe Cummings, who scored the game-winner against Lehigh with 6 seconds left, is anxiously awaiting the challenge.

"I'm very excited already," Cummings said. "It's a huge opportunity. We'll be representing Maryland in our home state with a chance to advance to the final four. It doesn't get much better."

Johns Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala said after the Blue Jays' win over Stony Brook, "We know about Maryland," and seemed to be more concerned with scouting Lehigh. He hopped a flight to Pennsylvania after the Blue Jays' game and stood as a spectator in Bethlehem, Pa., taking in both teams and watching Cummings' winner to set up this rematch. – MICHAEL BLOUSE

Loyola vs. Denver, 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Annapolis, Md.

Loyola and Denver will square off for the third time this season. The first two meetings were won by the Greyhounds in the regular season and the ECAC tournament semifinals, both at Denver. But they were both close. Loyola won 12-9 on April 14 and 14-13 in overtime on May 4.

"We know how good Loyola is," Denver coach Bill Tierney said after the Pioneers beat North Carolina on Saturday night. "People talk about, 'Oh, it's hard to beat somebody twice, it's hard to beat somebody three times.' They are one of the most complete teams I've seen in a long, long time. They're a machine. They just keep playing and one of the best offensive players is their pole. How do you defend that?

"They beat us twice at home, they beat us two ways. They beat us in a close one. The second one was weird — it ends up one goal. We'll remember they were up 13-6. It's going to be a task, but at this time of the year, you try just so hard right now to have a great experience for these guys. Just try to enjoy the week — that's what we did this week — try to enjoy being around each other and try to see if we can find something to stop those guys. We haven't been able to so far, but we'll keep trying." – MATT FORMAN

Virginia vs. Notre Dame, Noon Sunday at Chester, Pa.

After disposing of Ivy League champion Yale with a 13-7 win Sunday evening, No. 4 seed Notre Dame will face off against No. 5 seed and defending national champion Virginia next Sunday.

"I've watched them very casually, in all honesty," Irish coach Kevin Corrigan said. "It wasn't a team we had on our schedule so I've seen them play on TV a couple of times and I did watch [Sunday's] game with a little bit of interest."

Notre Dame (12-2) will carry the nation's top defense into Philadelphia anchored by junior Big East Goalie of the Year John Kemp and will try to contain Cavaliers senior attackman and Tewaaraton Trophy winner Steele Stanwick, who has tallied 27 goals and 46 assists this season.

"They're an athletic team with a lot of excellent skill players and you've got to survive the middle of the field against Virginia," Corrigan said. "They can't run roughshod through the middle of the field or you're going to be in trouble."

Virginia (12-3) survived a scare from Princeton in the first round to pull out a 6-5 win to advance. – MATTHEW DeFRANKS

Duke vs. Colgate, 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Chester, Pa.

Colgate will be tasked with taking down another Goliath in the Duke Blue Devils after coming back to beat UMass on Saturday.

While they are going to ride the feeling from the 13-11 win over UMass into this week, coach Mike Murphy knows what is waiting on the other side.

"I've watched them play a few times," Murphy said of Duke. "John [Danowski] does a great job with those guys, C.J. Costabile is an unbelievable player, their attack is phenomenal, their midfield is very good; I'll have to get into the film tomorrow but I know what they are capable of."

While Murphy will be looking more at sets and plays, Peter Baum is a bit more wary of the players.

"They have a great attack but I think we proved today that we have a player in Bobby Lawrence who can handle attackmen with a lot of speed," Baum said. "C.J. Costabile has had an unbelievable year at long-stick middie and facing off.

"But I don't know if we're going to face another defense as strong as what we faced today [in UMass], they really know how to beat you up," Baum said. "So I think that will be good preparation because they have so many athletes and can just roll them out." – JIMMY KELLEY


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