Berth in Final Four is Terps' second in a row
ANNAPOLIS -- Johns Hopkins has long been characterized as a rival of Maryland. But nemesis might be the more appropriate term considering how the Blue Jays have ruled the Terrapins in the games that have mattered most. In the NCAA quarterfinals Saturday, however, Maryland changed that a bit.
Dominating possession and getting nine goals from its midfielders, unseeded Maryland rolled to an emotion-fueled 11-5 victory over No. 2 Johns Hopkins before 13,390 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium to advance to its second Final Four in as many years under John Tillman.
Annapolis -- Playing 10 miles from his Severna Park home, Eric Lusby scored five goals and dealt two assists to lead Loyola to a 10-9 victory over Denver on Saturday in the NCAA quarterfinals, sending the Greyhounds to the Final Four for the first time since 1998.
- Kevin Dunleavy
|Loyola 10, Denver 9|
|It was an opportune time for the graduate student, out last year with a torn ACL, to establish his career high in points (seven) and match his career high in goals. Top-seeded Loyola (16-1) advances to a semifinal matchup against either No. 4 Notre Dame or No. 5 Virginia.|
|With Lusby dominating with his blistering crank shot, which produced three man-up goals, and J.P Dalton winning 17 of 22 faceoffs, Loyola built a 10-6 lead early in the fourth period before withstanding a rally by the unseeded Pioneers (9-7).|
|"Last week Coach said, 'Lusby's going home to Annapolis,'?" Lusby said. "Definitely feels good to have this successful of a game here."|
Unseeded Maryland (11-5) will face the winner of Sunday's game between No. 3 Duke and unseeded Colgate on Saturday in Foxborough, Mass.
"The way our guys played -- just a lot of energy, a lot of effort. They fought really hard and were really unselfish," Tillman said. "In typical Terp fashion, we weren't very pretty."
It was the 109th meeting between the teams but just the second time the Terps beat the Blue Jays twice in one season. The first came 39 years ago when Maryland won its first national championship.
"It's huge. I played at Hopkins a whole bunch of times in high school," said junior Curtis Holmes, a McDonogh graduate who won nine of 16 faceoffs. "You're friends off the field. On the field you have their respect, but you're trying to beat them as bad as possible."
Maryland accomplished that behind starting midfielders Drew Snider (three goals), John Haus (two goals) and Mike Chanenchuk (two goals), who repeatedly took advantage of mismatches. The Terps' midfielders outscored their Blue Jays counterparts 9-0.
Johns Hopkins (12-4) had few chances to score as Maryland won more ground balls (26-15) and faceoffs (12-8) and successfully cleared 12 of 14 times compared with 14 of 21 for Johns Hopkins.
"It was simple," Johns Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala said. "They had 20 more possessions than us. It's hard to win a lacrosse game like that."
Junior long stick midfielder Jesse Bernhardt caused back-to-back turnovers in the second half, leading a scrappy defense. Freshman defender Goran Murray limited Blue Jays top scorer Zach Palmer to one goal, and Maryland sophomore Niko Amato (seven saves) was barely tested.
Maryland took control in the middle periods, scoring six straight goals while holding Johns Hopkins scoreless over a span of 28:20. Snider gave Maryland the lead for good at 3-2, and 28 seconds later defensive middie Landon Carr scored off a faceoff scrum. Snider scored again, blowing past freshman defensive midfielder Nikhon Schuler for a 5-2 lead. Before the half was over, Maryland midfielder Kevin Cooper (one goal, one assists) slipped a brilliant pass to attack Joe Cummings for a 6-2 lead.
After each goal, each win of possession and each big hit, Maryland celebrated. Dominating its Baltimore rival was sweet indeed.
"There was a lot of jumping around, water being sprayed, but it ended pretty quickly," Snider said of the jubilant scene in the locker room. "We know we've got another game coming up."