Top-ranked Virginia knocks off Maryland in men's lacrosse in College Park
All week, Virginia Coach Dom Starsia had told his team to treat Brian Farrell, Maryland's junior longstick midfielder, as an offensive player.
And with 11 seconds left and his team trailing by one on Saturday night, it was Farrell who led Maryland on a fast break. But Farrell passed the ball to junior longstick Brett Schmidt, whose stick was blocked by a Virginia player as he readied to shoot. The ball sailed over the goal and with it went the chances that No. 4 Maryland (6-2, 1-2 ACC) would upset top-ranked Virginia (9-0, 1-0) in an 11-10 loss to the Cavaliers before 7,639 at Byrd Stadium.
Farrell had scored two goals against Virginia in the 2008 NCAA quarterfinals, a fact that Starsia said he reminded his team about often during the week. "Anybody but Brian Farrell in transition would've been okay by me," Starsia said after the game.
The final sequence that ended the latest Maryland-Virginia game was very similar to recent ones: Virginia won by one goal for the third consecutive meeting, and all three have been marked by controversy. Virginia led 8-2 early in the third quarter Saturday night. But the Terrapins closed to 10-9 following an extra-man goal by sophomore Joe Cummings with 3 minutes 36 seconds to play.
The controversial sequence came soon after. Maryland junior Ryan Young collected a rebound and appeared to tie the score with 2:11 to play. Celebratory music blared over the loudspeaker, the crowd screamed and the Maryland players on the sideline formed a leaping, joyous huddle. But the goal had been disallowed: The referees ruled that Young stepped into the crease as he shot.
Virginia's lead became two on the ensuing possession. Junior Shamel Bratton went through three defenders and uncorked a high shot that beat senior goalie Brian Phipps for an 11-9 lead with 1:51 left.
"That man is going to have to live with that one," Maryland Coach Dave Cottle said of the referee who made the call. "What we can do is work on controlling what we can control. We have to keep fighting, that's how we're going to approach this."
Maryland also had a goal disallowed in the fourth quarter of the 2008 quarterfinal and in the opening seconds of overtime against Virgnia last year.
Such a close ending didn't seem likely for much of Saturday night. Maryland made three changes to its offense. But there was hardly any chance for the changes to take effect. Virginia scored on its first, third and seventh shots and led 3-0 following an extra-man goal by sophomore Chris Bocklet. Virginia then went on another 3-0 run. In the opening spurt, senior Brian McDermott won all seven face-offs.
Meantime, deprived of possession, the Terrapins struggled to do anything on offense. They went 10:13 without a shot in one stretch in the first quarter.
"You don't expect to get off to a start like this," Starsia said. "It was very gratifying that we did all the things we needed to. At the end of the day, we needed all of those goals in order to win this."
Sophomore Steele Stanwick and Bocklet each scored four goals for Virginia. Senior Will Yeatman scored four goals and Phipps added 16 saves for Maryland.