April 17, 2010

Maryland Seniors Get Win Over Hopkins

by Clare Lochary | Lacrosse Magazine Online Staff

BALTIMORE - After three years of disappointment in one of lacrosse??'s oldest rivalries, Maryland??s veteran seniors finally walked away with a win. The Terps rallied from an early three-goal deficit and held off a late Johns Hopkins rally to emerge with 10-9 victory at the Smartlink Day of Rivals at M&T Bank Stadium before an announced crowd of 20,911. Junior attackers Grant Catalino and Travis Reed led Maryland with two goals each.

"??We were out-ground-balled in the first half and we out-ground-balled them in the second half,"?? said Maryland head coach Dave Cottle. "??It'??s a simple game. You get more ground balls and you out-hustle them and you win.??"

The Terps did just that, snapping up 31 ground balls to Hopkins?? 21. Their man-down unit performed brilliantly, holding the Blue Jays to 1-of-7, and senior midfielder Bryn Holmes won 13 of 22 face-offs.

"??That [Holmes] is the toughest son of a booger I??'ve ever been around in my coaching career,??" said Cottle. "??It'??s very easy to be the coach of ateam that works this hard.??"

Despite leaping to an early 3-0 lead, Johns Hopkins proved susceptible to the mistakes of a youthful team that played 10 freshmen, including goalie Pierce Bassett (8 saves). Senior Steven Boyle led the Blue Jays with three goals, but Hopkins struggled to score after the first period, allowing Maryland to go on an 8-1 run that put the game out of reach.

"??They earned that win in two places - in extra-man and in ground balls,?? said Johns Hopkins head coach Dave Pietramala. ??"[Man-up] has been a frustration for us since the first quarter of the season. It comes from guys feeling like they have to make plays.??"

Eight different Terps contributed to the score, including four who came off the bench. In the fourth quarter from freshman longpole Jesse Bernhardt got a fast-break goal seconds after Hopkins closed the gap to 9-7, icing a potential hot streak for the Blue Jays.

"??Jesse went from the outhouse to the penthouse with that goal because he had some fouls,??" said Cottle. ??"The kid is fearless. He??'s going to be a special player.??"

Freshmen aside, it was a night for the Maryland seniors.

"??We tried not to think about it too much during the week, but it feels really good to beat Hopkins,??" said goalie Brian Phipps (8 saves), one of seven seniors on the team.

Conversely, losing to Maryland was a bad break with tradition for the Hopkins seniors.  The loss drops the Blue Jays to a 5-6 record and cast a shadow over their postseason hopes. The Hopkins program has gone to the NCAA tournament for the past 38 years, currently the longest-running streak in any  sport.

The Blue Jays had a chance to send the game to overtime in the final seconds, when longpole defender Sam DeVore had possession and couldn??'t find an open teammate for a feed.

With just three regular season games left to play and only one of them against a ranked team (Loyola), Hopkins will have to win out to keep their postseason streak alive.

"We'??re going to make a run at this. We'??re going to do everything we can to make a run at it. This is not over yet,??" said Pietramala.

Cottle seemed pleased with his team'??s performance, especially at M&T Bank Stadium which has been a home away from home for the Terps this year and will be the site of the NCAA championship weekend. The Hopkins victory was their second one-goal win at the venue, after knocking off Duke, 11-10, in overtime on March 6. But with the ACC tournament on the
horizon, he was careful not to overplay the significance of the classic rivalry.

"??We'??re fortunate to get another win. I??'m more happy for the seniors than I am for me,??" said Cottle, who is now 5-15 versus Hopkins in his career. ??"We??'re going to enjoy this tonight and then start preparing for North Carolina.??"

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