After playing so passively Wednesday that it nearly allowed its 11-8 quarterfinal victory over Pennsylvania to slip away, Syracuse punished Maryland, 12-5, today.
The victory in the NCAA semifinals advanced the Orangemen to next Saturday's 2 p.m. championship against Johns Hopkins in New Brunswick, N.J.
"We learned against Penn that we couldn't let up," said Syracuse Coach Roy Simmons Jr. "We knew Maryland was an explosive team."
Goals by Dave Desko and Art Lux gave the Orangemen (13-1) a 2-0 first-quarter lead. They extended it to 4-0 by the middle of the second period on another goal by Lux and a score by junior attackman Randy Lundblad. Lundblad had assisted on the first two goals.
The Terrapins (9-5) finally scored when Jim Wilkerson bounced a shot past Travis Solomon with 8:13 left in the half. But Syracuse led by 9-3 at the end of the third period.
"If we got up on them," Simmons said, "we were going to run on them and make them play our game. At the end, they just shot, shot, shot. They were taking bad shots, though, and they didn't have time for any good shots."
What good shots Maryland did manage rarely got past Solomon, who stopped 23 shots and continually flustered the Terrapins.
"I thought we did fairly well holding Syracuse to only 12 goals," Coach Dino Mattessich of Maryland said. "What was particularily amazing to me was that they held us to five goals. Solomon was the difference."
"Every shot they took was from over 15 yards away," Solomon said. "Any goalie could save those."
Any goalie might have, but Solomon did. After struggling to defeat the Terrapins, 16-13, in their opener, the Orangemen ended this game early.