Monday, March 16, 2009

Maryland Lacrosse Roundup: Taking On The Best

As the country focused on the NCAA men's basketball tournament, the lacrosse world continued to roll on with some of Maryland's teams taking on the best in the sport. UMBC took on Maryland in an in-state rivalry, Johns Hopkins faced-off against Syracuse in a title game rematch, and Towson took on #1 Virginia.

UMBC Upsets Terrapins Again
The #10 Retrievers seem to have #5 Maryland's number lately, with another upset in College Park, winning 9-7 on Saturday. This is the third time in a row that UMBC has upset Maryland.

A big defensive first half saw UMBC go into the locker room up 4-1. Maryland never got their footing, as runs of 5-1 and 4-1 were plenty to take down Maryland. Maryland shot more times but most of them missed the net completely, so Jeremy Blevins was not tested in goal much. The UMBC midfield once again ruled, with Alex Hopmann and Kyle Wimer each getting two goals and an assist, while two Terrapins, Grant Catalino and Ryan Young, scored hat tricks.

This was UMBC's lone match of the week, improving to 4-2 and will take on Ohio State on March 21st. Despite an angry Dave Cottle from that loss, Maryland rebounded and defeated Bryant 13-6 on Sunday, helping by three-goal days by Dan Groot and Travis Reed. Maryland sits at 5-2 and will play their second in-conference game on Saturday against North Carolina.

Battle at the Top: Hopkins Downed by the Orange, Towson falls to Wahoos
Two Maryland-based teams traveled on the road to take on the top teams in the country, and both fell. #8 Hopkins lost in their rematch of last year's title game to #2 Syracuse 14-11 and Towson's struggles continue with a loss to #1 Virginia 11-2.

In front of over 9,000 fans at the Carrier Dome, this match had a lot of hype. Hopkins got out to an early lead against the defending champs, but a 6-0 run and later a 5-1 run by Syracuse was too much for the Blue Jay defense. Syracuse had very accurate shooting, getting 29 shots on goal, and while Michael Gvozden saved 15 of them, it was not enough in the end. Four Blue Jays ended with a couple goals, led by Kyle Wharton, who also had three assists.

In the short run, Towson looked like they could at least hang with Virginia. Down 4-0 at the end of the first quarter, the Tigers got two quick goals at the start of the second to cut the lead in half. But that is all they could muster. Towson would not score again and got hit by a slow 7-0 run through the end of the game. Towson did win the face-off game with Mitchell Rosensweig grabbing 12 of 17 faceoffs, but that and the overall defense is about all that went well in the end.

Hopkins falls to 3-2 and will return to Homewood Field for a battle with #1 Virginia over the weekend. Towson is now at 1-4, will head home to take on Robert Morris on Saturday afternoon.

For the rest of the teams in the state:
--#15 Navy had a seven-goal quarter in two wins during their road travels, one in the 10-8 victory over Lehigh and the other in a 10-5 win against Holy Cross. They improve to 6-2 and will play their second Patriot League match on Saturday against Colgate.
--#18 Loyola defended their home field well, giving #17 St. John's their first loss 10-7 plus defeating Bryant 15-11. Now at 5-2, the Greyhounds will take on UMass on Saturday.
--Mt. St. Mary's earned their first win of the season with a 12-9 victory over Manhattan thanks to freshman attack Christian Kellett, who scored hat trick goals and assists. The Mount will continue MAAC conference play against Marist on the weekend.

The Around the Harbor Lacrosse Standings Through March 15th:
(overall record, record vs. in-state teams), new Inside Lacrosse rankings
Navy (6-2, 1-0), ranked #13
Loyola (5-2, 1-0), ranked #t-14
Johns Hopkins (3-2, 1-0), ranked #7
UMBC (4-2, 1-1), ranked #6
Maryland (5-2, 1-1), ranked #10
Mt. St. Mary's (1-3, 0-1)
Towson (1-4, 0-2)

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