Maryland's sixth-seeded lacrosse team came to Charlottesville to win an NCAA game today for retiring coach Dino Mattessich, and the Terrapins came through with one of their biggest victories, shocking third-seeded Virginia, 13-4, to advance to the semifinals of the NCAA Division I Lacrosse Tournament.
Maryland hadn't beaten Virginia (10-2) since Buddy Beardmore took the Terrapins to the NCAA final in 1979. The most surprising thing about today's game was Virginia's offense, which had been averaging 19 goals over the last six games and had scored 50 in the last two.
"I wish I'd put money on this," Mattessich joked afterward. "This is the biggest win of my career. The first five minutes were very important. We executed very well and then things started going our way."
Maryland (9-4) dominated the first half, 5-0, with a much more controlled offensive style than had been typical. The Terrapins looked for a good shot almost every time, keeping the ball away from the potent Cavaliers.
Kevin Sullivan opened the scoring with a bullet-like shot from 15 yards out only 1:11 into the game. Five minutes later, Matt McGeady rushed the left side, circled the net, and fed Mike Hubbard in front of the Virginia net. Hubbard's backhanded shot over his right shoulder made it 2-0.
With time running out in the first quarter, Jim Wilkerson found Tim Worstell open on the right side for a 3-0 lead.
Maryland's defense was the story in the second quarter as numerous Cavalier rushes were broken up and goalie Kevin O'Leary robbed Paul French, Mike Caravana and Ott Mohrmann. Once, Virginia couldn't advance past midfield in 45 seconds.
The Cavaliers couldn't convert any of their five extra-man opportunities, and when Tony Olmert's 12-yard shot hit the cross bar and was ruled to have bounced in, it was 4-0. Sullivan gave Maryland a 5-0 advantage just before halftime.
"We were prepared after last time (17-8 Virginia) and we adjusted," O'Leary said. "And they played right into our hands."
The Terrapins kept the pressure on in the third quarter. Virginia goalie J.B. Meyer made a great save early on Wilkerson, but then the senior all-America attackman fed Mike Hart in front for a behind-the-back goal. Virginia finally scored after 34:24 had elapsed, only four seconds after Hubbard went off for unsportsmanlike conduct, as Bill Wyker beat O'Leary.
Maryland will play Syracuse, who defeated Penn tonight, 11-8, Saturday in the Carrier Dome.