Johns Hopkins' defense turned what was expected to be a tight game into a semirout, as the Blue Jays defeated Maryland. 15-9, for their second consecutive NCAA lacrosse championship yesterday at Byrd Stadium.
Keyed by two All-Americas - goalie Mike Federico and lanky defender Mark Greenberg - Hopkins finshed its season with a 20-game winning streak 13 this season.
"We were pretty psyched up," said Greenberg, a 6-foot-4 195-pound junior whose uniform No. 44 probably will have a starring role in future Terrapin nightmares. "There were no two ways about it: Nobody was taking away our title. We wanted to win it for our seniors."
The Blue Jays, whose championship was their third in the nine-year history of the tournament, will not exactly be pushovers next year, either. Only three regulars graduate, including only one member of a two-deep defense that allowed opponents an average of just seven goals per contest.
"We have fourth and fifth defensemen who could start for anybody else in the country," said Blue Jay Coach Henry Ciccarone. "Maryland is the most explosive team in the country, so denying them like we did is a tremendous compliment to our defense."
Hopkins defused the Terrapin attack by holding hosts scoreless in the second period. Maryland, which finished 9-2, did not even get a shot off until 2:27 remained in the period and launched only four attempts for the entire quarter.
That 15-minute Tep drought allowed the Blue Jays to a 4-3 deficit into an 8-4 halftime advantage. The Terps did nothing thereafter to indicate to the NCAA final-game record crowd of 17,228 that they could pull out.
"We had the momentum early on," said senior Terp attack Terry Kimball, who has been around while Maryland has dropped six straight to the Blue Jays. "Federico did an excellent job, making some key saues in the second period. We were gettinhg shots off, but he was making good saves."
Federico picked up numerous ground balls in the second period and, with the Terps a man up in the final 30 seconds, ranged behind his goal to intercept a Terp pass run out the clock.
Maryland finally broke a 19-mintue, 50-second scoreless span when attack Bob Boneillo scored the second of his three goals by tapping in a rebound of his own missed shot with 4-22 expired in the third period.
The Terps pulled to within 8-6 on Ron Martinello's 12-yarder off an assist by Barry Mitchell with 5-37 gone. Both goals were extra-man tallies.
But Hopkins did not take long to squelch any Terp comeback hopes. Just over one minute after Martinello's goal, Blue Jay midfielder Ned Radebaugh shaked and shimmied his way downfield, knocked down Terp Mike Blair and shot under goalie Bryant Waters for a 9-6 Hopkins lead.
While Federico continued to make fine saves at the Hopkins defensive end and Curt Ahrendsen forced numerous Terp ball-handling errors, the Blue Jays got the game's two goals.
Scott Baugher's shot found the top of the net with 8-33 gone in the third and, three minutes later, Radebaugh saw his partially blocked shot just barely trickle into the goal for an 11-6 nargin.
From that point, Maryland never could close the gap as Hopkins continued to manhandle Terp, offensive men.
"Our whole game plan was to keep moving," Kimball said. "We knew they'd be pressuring us. They picked us up so far out that we coulkn't pass well Give them credet, they made us play their game. We just didn't have it today." CAPTION: Picture, Mike Federico, Johns Hopkins' All-America goalie, makes save as Maryland's Bob Boneillo close in on the crease, Federico made 12 saves, many sensational, in 15-9 victory. By Ellsworth Davis - Washington Post