Second-team midfielders lead Maryland lacrosse past Towson, 12-8

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By Christian Swezey
Sunday, March 14, 2010

For much of Maryland's 12-8 men's lacrosse victory over Towson on Saturday at Byrd Stadium, it was hard to tell which was Maryland's starting midfield and which was the second unit.

The starting midfield -- seniors Adam Sear and Will Yeatman and sophomore Jake Bernhardt -- finished with no points on 0-for-5 shooting. The performance was offset, however, by the emergence of the second unit.

The second line -- redshirt sophomore Drew Snider, sophomore Michael Shakespeare and freshman John Haus -- each scored two goals for the sixth-ranked Terrapins (4-0).

The starting midfielders finished with nine shifts. The second unit had 11. In the crucial fourth quarter, the second unit was on the field for four consecutive possessions.

"It was unbelievable," Maryland Coach Dave Cottle said. "They're three good young players. . . . We rested our first [midfield] because I didn't think they were very good."

Initially, it looked as if there would be opportunity for Maryland to rest against Towson (0-3).

A goal by Tigers graduate student Christian Pastirik cut Maryland's lead to 4-3 early in the second quarter, but the Terrapins answered with a 4-0 run -- on goals by Shakespeare, Snider, sophomore Joe Cummings and redshirt junior Brian Farrell -- and led 8-3 at halftime.

For the third quarter, Towson Coach Tony Seaman benched starting goalie Rob Wheeler and inserted sophomore Travis Love, who faced two point-blank shots in the opening two minutes of the quarter. He saved both.

And the Tigers used the momentum to close to 9-7 following a goal by junior Tim Stratton with 13 minutes 57 seconds to play. But Shakespeare and Haus scored back-to-back goals to put away the game.

Towson senior Will Harrington scored three goals, and Love made seven saves. But the Tigers were left to regret a 1-for-8 performance on extra-man offense.

"I thought Travis Love was terrific in goal. In the first three minutes of the second half they could've been up by 12 goals and he saved everything they shot at him," Seaman said. "He made five saves I didn't know he was capable of making."

Both teams have a busy upcoming week. Towson hosts Navy on Tuesday and No. 1 Virginia on Sunday. As well as playing Penn on Monday, Maryland faces UMBC on Saturday; the Retrievers have a three-game winning streak in the series.

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