John Hopkins needed two overtime periods last Saturday before showing its superiority in lacrosse over Maryland. Today, the Blue Jays needed only one quarter to prove the same point.
For those first 15 minutes, Hopkins put on one of the finest exhibitions of precision any coach could want. The result was an 8-3 lead that demoralized the Terrpins and turned this NCAA tournament semifinal game into a rout.
Hopkins soon found itself in a position to all but name the final score. The Blue Jays settled for 22-12, but it could have been worse.
The Hopkins goals were the most any Maryland lacrosse team had surrendered since starting the sport in 1924. No opponent has ever administered such a through beating to the tradition-rich Terrapins.
"We've had our days against Hopkins and it was their turn against us," said Maryland coach Bud Beardmore.
"Their entire team played extremely well and we made a lot of turnovers. I think they took advantage of every mistake we made."
They did. All Maryland had to do was make a false step and Hopkins turned it into a goal. The score mounted to 12-5 at the half and 17-7 at the end of third quarter. As the Terrapins started to play better, Hopkins got even better.
"We were half-step behind all afternoon," said Beardmore. "We'd be going to the right place but they'd get there first. The execution of their offense was flawless. They were some thing to watch.
Maryland will watch from the stands next Saturday in Charlottesville, Va., as Hopkins meets the winner of tonight's Navy-Cornell game for the national title. It will be Hopkins first championship contest appearance since 1974, when it beat Maryland.
If Hopkins can duplicate today's effort, especially its first-quarter performance, the Blue Jays will be hard to beat.
Maryland goalie Jake Reed, who was coming off a fine outing against Washington and Lee Wednesday, last 20 minutes in this one before being replaced. He came back to finish the fourth period.
Reed hardly had time to settle into his position before Hopkins jumped ahead on a goal by Mike O'Neill 39 seconds after the opening faceoff.
Less that two minutes later, Wayne Davis made it 2-0 and Dave Huntley increased the margin to 3-0 with 4 1/2 minutes elapsed. Maryland finally scored but Hopkins had run up a 6-1 lead before the Terrapins tailied again.
"Jake was very stiff at the beginning and didn't get off to a good start," said Beardmore. "He had a stiff neck and couldn't get loose. Maybe we substituted (for him) too late but that is hindsight."
By the end of the quarter, Reed has made only two saves on 14 Hopkins shots, eight for goals. But it wasn't all Reed's fault. Maryland's highly touted midfielders and numerous defensive lapses and Hopkins fired in 15-yard shots with Reed screened off.
Substitute goalie Bryant Waters played wll but it was too late. Hopkins disputed Maryland's offense, causing the Terrapins to commit fundamental mistakes time after time. Hopkins' aggressiveness resulted in a whopping 101 ground balls to Maryland's 61.
"You never expect a game like this," said Ciccarone. "When it comes, you love it. But I'd sure like to play just like this for just one more game."