Maryland 16, Army 12
Maryland's offense was clicking for less than 10 minutes in its first-round NCAA men's lacrosse tournament game against Army last night. That was enough, however, for the Terrapins to record a 16-12 victory before 4,265 at Byrd Stadium.
Maryland (13-2) will face No. 6 Princeton (10-3) in a quarterfinal Saturday in Charlottesville. The Tigers defeated Rutgers, 12-4, in a first-round game.
Army (10-5) tied the game at 7 following a goal by freshman Justin Bokmeyer with 59 seconds left in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, however, the teams combined for 14 goals; Maryland scored nine of them. The Terrapins scored eight in the first 9 minutes 36 seconds of the quarter and took a 15-8 lead following a goal by senior Paul Gillette with 5:28 to play.
In the decisive spurt, Maryland senior Drew Virk won five straight faceoffs, Army was outshot 20-3 and had the ball for just 1:29. Maryland also had just two turnovers in the fourth after having 18 in the first three quarters.
"There's not much to say, really," Virk said. "When we got into the fourth quarter everyone did pretty well."
Said Army Coach Jack Emmer: "We won 60 to 70 percent going into the fourth quarter, and then they won 11 of 15. It's unusual for it to turn around like that. That was the difference in the game."
Virk won nine straight faceoffs in the second half and was 13 for 19 in the game. He also had an assist last night, the second of his career.
"Winning the faceoffs in the fourth quarter really helped," Maryland Coach Dave Cottle said. "When we had the ball so much, I think we were able to wear them down."
That the outcome would be decided by the middle of the fourth quarter seemed unlikely for most of the night. Army became one of the few teams to spoil Maryland's defensive game plan this year. Maryland senior defensemen Chris Passavia and Lee Zink had shut down some of the top offensive players in the country, and the initial plan last night was to have Passavia guard Army sophomore attackman John Walker, the team's second-leading scorer; Zink guarded leading scorer Jim Bryan.
When Walker went to a wing on the opening faceoff, Passavia followed him. When Walker moved briefly to midfield, Passavia followed him there as well.
The problem for Maryland was that Walker beat Passavia twice for goals. The first came on a behind-the-back shot with 2:58 left in the first quarter that closed Army's deficit to 3-2. His second gave Army a 5-4 lead with 6:38 left in the first half.
Passavia was pulled from the game for the remainder of the half following the second goal; Zink moved to guard Walker.
Walker finished with four goals, junior Jim Wagner had five and junior goalkeeper Matt Darak had 20 saves for the Black Knights. Their nine goals were more than all but three teams had scored against Maryland this year.
Sophomore Joe Walters had three goals and three assists and sophomore Bill McGlone added two goals and two assists for the Terps.
"The first three quarters we were kind of struggling on offense," said Walters. "We didn't really get into a flow until the fourth quarter."