The Maryland Terrapins will not play at M&T Bank Stadium for the 3rd time in 2010. They will not play in the Final Four in 2010. The #3 Terps (12-4) lost to Notre Dame (9-6) 7-5 in the NCAA Quarterfinals in Princeton, New Jersey on Saturday.
For just the 2nd time since the NCAA Tournament began in 1971, a group of Maryland seniors will not have the chance to play in the final weekend for just the second time. Brian Phipps made 13 saves for the Terps as they held the Irish to just 7 goals in a rematch of last year's first round game, but it was not enough to overcome a terrible day offensively against a team that barely made it in to the tournament.
Travis Reed scored 1 goal on the day...the only goal that came from a member of the Terrapin's vaunted attack unit. No goals from Grant Catalino who put up 34 goals prior to this game. No goals from Will Yeatman who was playing against his alma matter. No goals for Ryan Young, who led the offense the entire season from behind the net with much bravado.
Notre Dame's stifling defense never allowed Maryland to get into a rhythm on offense and goalie Scott Rodgers made some sensational saves from point blank range to take down another seeded opponent. The Irish came off an 8-5 win over #6 Princeton in the first round and were the unanimous underdog coming into this game as well.
The defense sagged in and forced the Terps to shoot from the outside for the most part. However, even when Maryland was able to find gaps, they could not connect on passes or simply dropped balls right in front of the crease. Coach Dave Cottle said that his team needed to get to 10 goals to beat Notre Dame, and they only managed to score half that total, well below their season average of 11.7.
The difference maker in the game for Notre Dame was Trever Sipperly who dominated the faceoff battle, winning 10 of the 15 50/50 balls in the middle of the field. Andrew Irving, a long stick middie for Notre Dame was exceptional and coach Kevin Corrigan praised his unhearalded midfielder for his effort as he won 7 ground balls.
The Terps needed to come out strong against a team that relies on defense...at the very least, they could not fall behind early. But Sean Rogers (3G) scored the first goal of the game. Scott LaRue answered for Maryland to tie the game at 1-1, but Notre Dame scored the next 3 goals to take a commanding lead after the 1st quarter.
Sophomore Jake Bernhardt seemed to ignite the Terps with an athletic play in the 2nd, after the Terps fell behind 5-1. Running to his left, after dodging an opponent, he ripped a shot into the low right corner. He showed the sense of urgency that the rest of the team appeared to lack. That snapped a scoreless stretch of 16:24, by far one of the longest droughts the Terrapins underwent all year long. Freshman John Haus scored a few minutes later on a beautiful 1v1 move, getting his shot past the shoulder of the 2010 All-Big East 2nd Team keeper.
However, Notre Dame would extend its lead to 7-3 after halftime and Maryland could not muster enough offense towards the end of the game. As the clock continued to dwindle, the pressure began to mount and UMD just couldn't find a way to score.
It was their first loss to Notre Dame ever and overall, the team falls to 19-11 in quarterfinal games with a 13-7 record as the #3 seed.
Maryland was outhustled on the day. They lost the ground ball battle 31-24 and couldn't even convert on the one man-up opportunity they got. The teams strength all year long had been their EMO unit, #2 in the nation, and their gritty play. But at the end of the day, they didn't find the right combination of players to score enough and you can't win an NCAA Quarterfinal game scoring 5 goals.
Notre Dame will advance to the Final Four where it will play Cornell, who thrashed Army 14-5, after Army upset #2 Syracuse in the first round. #5 Duke rolled past #4 UNC 17-9 and #1 Virginia scraped out a win over #8 Stony Brook, 10-9 to advance to the Final Four on the other side of the bracket. Coach Corrigan said his team was pulling for Duke...it was in the first game of the season for Notre Dame against then #2 Duke, an 11-7 win, that got them into the tournament in the first place.
Unfortunately for the Terps, their season comes to an end much earlier than anticipated. As sad as the team is to not make it the final weekend, they had a tremendous season. For the first time since 2001, 3 players (Catalino, Young, and Reed) scored at least 37 points and ALL of them return next season.
The key losses as the team looks to 2011 will be:
#17 Bryn Holmes, who is the toughest player that Coach Cottle has ever coached in his career. You will not find a player who puts his body on the line more often than Holmes did for UMD, winning 61 ground balls, causing 18 turnovers. But he is most known for taking faceoffs. He won 145 faceoffs on the year for a .553%.
#23 Will Yeatman, who battled injuries all year long but still managed to 22 points (15G, 7A) as he switched from attack to midfield.
#30 Brian Phipps was the anchor for this defense and played incredible lacrosse down the stretch. He made 158 saves in 2010 and had a 7.75 goals against average.
Adam Sear, who was the star of Maryland's #2 EMO attack group. He scored 8 goals after Maryland drew a penalty with his 100+ mph shot. You will not find a goalie who wanted to see #12 rip a shot.
#7 Dan Halayko, who played in all 16 games this year as the 4th long pole on defense. He played admirably with the Terps man-down unit and picked up 20 ground balls.
#16 Dean Hart played with more heart than anyone. He scored just 3 goals and added 2 assists as a defensive minded middie who did all the little things for the team.
#35 Fran Gormley came back after two years away from the team, walking on in 2010. He earned all the playing time he got and scored 2 goals and had an assist as well.
If you were keeping track, every senior of the 2010 class will be missed next year. Thanks for a great season. I had a blast covering the team and they have a bright future. Can't say the same for Cottle as he might have stood on the Maryland sideline for the last time.
For the rest of the 2010 Men's Lacrosse crew please keep supporting us at wmucsports.com. We look forward to next season and I will keep posting big news about the team throughout the off-season. Congratulations to the team once again for a great season. Go Terps!