Johns Hopkins (12-4) finished with 16 shots. It was their second-fewest in the NCAA tournament, a span of 40 years and 99 games. It also was their fewest against the Terrapins (11-5) since at least 1974, a span of 49 games.
“I’m proud of our guys,” Maryland Coach John Tillman said. “I’m happy for them, for our school and for our state, which prides itself on lacrosse. In typical Terp fashion we weren’t very pretty. We drive ourselves a little bit crazy but we stick together and we played hard for the entire game.”
Maryland used a deliberate offense that featured seven goals from the starting midfield. Maryland controlled the ball for roughly 40 minutes and was warned for stalling 12 times.
The portents for the win were apparent from the outset. Maryland sophomore goalie Niko Amato was mentored in high school by former Maryland all-American Brian Dougherty. His signature performance came when he made seven first-quarter saves, and 23 overall, in a 16-8 upset of No. 1 Johns Hopkins in the 1995 NCAA tournament.
Amato took a page out of that book.
The first possession for the Blue Jays yielded two shots. One came from all-American midfielder John Ranagan, who was defended by a starting offensive midfielder. The second was a point-blank attempt by sixth-year senior Chris Boland, the only member of the Blue Jays to have played in the Final Four.
Amato saved both and finished with four first-quarter saves. And when Maryland got the ball, they rarely gave it back quickly.
“They put a stranglehold on the ball,” Johns Hopkins Coach Dave Pietramala said. “They forced us to play a lot of defense. . . . They stalled most of the game. I’m not a guy that’s against that. You might get a guy who says it’s time for a shot clock. You do what you’ve got to do to win.”
Saturday’s game turned after the Blue Jays had tied it at 2 on an extra-man goal by sophomore Brandon Benn with 13 minutes 23 seconds left in the first half. The Blue Jays won the ensuing faceoff but turned it over with 12:39 left.
From then until halftime, the Blue Jays had the ball for 2:25 and took only one shot.
And the Terrapins went to work. Their 10:14 of possession yielded nine shots and four goals for a 6-2 lead. Snider scored twice and junior Landon Carr and senior Joe Cummings scored once each.
Johns Hopkins seemed to gain a little momentum with a defensive stand in the final possession of the half. Yet Maryland opened the second half with a goal by starting midfielder Mike Chanenchuk, a sophomore, for a 7-2 lead with 11:51 left in the third quarter.