The Terps are now 6-0 for the first time since 2004 when the Terrapins began the season 8-0.
Leading the way for Maryland as usual was standout attackman, Grant Catalino, who tied a career high for points in a game with 7 against UMBC. Catalino's 4 goals and 3 assists were a big reason why UMD was able to snap a 3-game losing streak against their rival to the north.
On a perfect day in Catonsville, and with a large contingent of fans donning Terrapin red, Maryland defeated the Retrievers 13-7, thoroughly dominating the game....playing like the #5 team in the nation. After losing consecutive games to UMBC for the first time since 1998-1999, the Terps came out a little sluggish on offense, but their defense propelled them to victory.
Brian Phipps and his defense only gave up 6 goals [the final tally coming off the stick of 2009 All-American Kyle Wimer with just over a minute left to play and the outcome in hand as Mark White spelled Phipps for a few well-deserved minutes of rest]. Against a UMBC team that led D-1 lacrosse connecting on over 50% of their EMO chances last year, the tenacious defense kept the Retrievers off the scoreboard while killing a penalty. UMBC was 0-3 when playing with an extra man.
After allowing UPenn to control the tempo of the game, slowing the game down in College Park, the strategy employed by Cottle consisted of placing two long poles on UMBC's talented midfield. From the net, Phipps explained how the offense truly starts from the back, "we forced them to move the ball around quicker, and we got the ball on the ground, getting the ball up to the offense...our defense contributed to that getting the ball on the ground."
Averaging 12 goals a game this season, the offense did not disappoint. Ryan Young had 3 assists from the "X" spot behind the net and Travis Reed had 2 goals and 2 assists as well. The Terps pushed the ball every chance they got.
The epitome of the game came in the first half when sophomore stud, Jake Bernhardt, came on the field from midfield in a quick substitution, caught the ball on his way to the box in stride, and dodged 2 defenders before he ripped a shot across his body and past the stick Kevin Kohri.
The lone bright spot for UMBC was the play of sophomore attack, Shane Ryznar, who played high school lacrosse down the road from College Park at Dematha. He had a hat-trick on the day, the second most goals of anyone on the field.
Leading by 5-7 goals for much of the second half, coach Cottle went to his bench early and took the starters out for good in the 4th quarter. Seldom-used senior Fran Gormley was able to get an assist on the day as he hit a streaking Michael Shakespeare down the middle of the box, completely untouched...which seemed to happen quite often. The Terps were more physically imposing seemed to play at a much higher speed than their opponent.
Next week the team travels to UNC to face the #2 Tar Heels down in Chapel Hill on Saturday. That will start a stretch of games against top 10 teams including a prime-time home match-up against #1 Virginia on April 3rd and another game at M&T Bank Stadium when they will take on #8 John's Hopkins on the 17th of April.
For the first time in years, the Terps are playing to their own ability. If they can continue to score at a high rate and keep offenses at bay, the rest of the ACC and NCAA should watch out. These terrapins are talented, fast, and they love to score.