Maryland junior midfielder Drew Snider’s lacrosse skills played an obvious part in his scoring four goals in a 13-6 victory over North Carolina in an NCAA tournament first-round game last Sunday. His acting skills helped, too.
Snider scored a goal on a rare piece of on-field deceit known as the “hidden-ball trick” — a play executed so well the video replay has garnered more than 700,000 hits on YouTube.
The goal, scored with less than two minutes remaining in the third quarter of a tight game, came about when senior Brian Farrell faked a pass to attacker Grant Catalino, who went to net as Farrell sneaked around the back side of the play and found Snider with a quick pass. Snider scored as the Tar Heels goalie was still staring at the other side of the field.
“It’s a pretty cool play,” Snider said. “I saw Farrell had the ball, but I had to play it off like Catalino had it. I got a perfect pass and turned and finished it, but that’s a shot you don’t want to miss. If you watch the film, I double-clutch before shooting. I couldn’t believe how open I was.”
The hidden-ball trick has been used successfully only a handful of times in the NCAA tournament. Syracuse used it against Navy in a quarterfinal in 1989 and Loyola used it twice, in a first-round game against Pennsylvania in 1989 and a quarterfinal against Loyola in 2001.
The Terrapins (11-4) will likely need to score in more conventional ways when they face No. 1 Syracuse (15-1) in a quarterfinal on Sunday at noon in Foxborough, Mass.
Maryland has 17 seniors, and the Terps are trying to win the school’s first national title since 1975. Syracuse’s senior class has won two national titles, in 2008 and 2009.
“In our eyes, our senior class has underperformed,” said Maryland senior Ryder Bohlander, a starting defenseman. “We could have done a lot better. And this is our last opportunity.”
Snider, who hails from Seattle, scored four times against the Tar Heels and is believed to be the first player from Washington state to score in the NCAA tournament.
“When it rains, we always say, ‘Drew is going to have a big practice today,’ ” said senior attackman Ryan Young, who acknowledged he was as fooled by the hidden-ball trick as the Tar Heels were.
Snider’s father was an all-American at Virginia in the 1970s. He fell in love with Seattle while visiting former Virginia basketball player Wally Walker in the summer of 1981; Walker lived there while playing for the Seattle SuperSonics in the NBA.
Kris Snider played club lacrosse in Seattle and Drew attended the games as a ball boy, though he played baseball. In the sixth grade, Kris Snider said his son asked about playing lacrosse.
“I wasn’t trying to push him,” Kris Snider said. “But when he said he wanted to try it, that was all I needed to hear.”
Drew Snider was a two-time all-American in high school and did a postgraduate year at a boarding school. His first two years at Maryland were marred by injuries.
“The guys kept telling [the coaches] how good Drew was,” said former Maryland coach Dave Cottle, who recruited Snider. “But he was injured, so we never saw it.”
In a further sign of the sport’s growth, Snider is not the only Seattle native to have reached the quarterfinals: Cornell senior Shane O’Neill and Denver freshman midfielder Cole Nordstrom also made it, though neither has scored.
“This is a heady time for us out here,” Kris Snider said.