UMass Upsets Maryland 8-5

UMass Upsets Maryland 8-5

UMass Upsets Maryland 8-5

UMass Upsets Maryland 8-5

Playing in their first Final Four, the UMass Minutemen knocked off the Maryland Terrapins 8-5, in a hard fought, defensive game. All-American Sean Morris (3,1) lead his UMass squad past the perennial powerhouse Terps to advance the Minutemen to their first ever Memorial Day game.

The Minutemen defense played aggressively, extending out and pressuring the ball, while still be close enough at the core to make it very difficult for the Terps to work inside.

“We wanted to turn up the heat on defense,” Jack Reid, UMass’ All-American defenseman, said after the game, “make them make quick decisions.”

After Maryland goalie Harry Alford and UMass keeper Doc Schneider exchanged good saves to start, Xander Ritz put the Terps on the board first as he rushed from behind the cage, wrapped around the post, and bounced in a shot. Jim Connolly evened the score for UMass, putting in a goal that was almost a clone of Ritz’s. Alford quickly reasserted himself in cage though, stuffing a cutting Pat Larmon.

UMass took the first lead of the game, at 2-1. All-American attackamn Sean Morris fed Rory Pedrick for a pretty behind the back goal. Maryland tied after Alford made a huge save on Brian Jacovina. In the subsequent rush up field Ryan Lang hit LSM Ryan Clarke who ripped in a bouncer from just inside the box.

The Minutemen grabbed the lead at the beginning of the second and never looked back. Morris dodged down the wing, switched hands, and bounced in the goal, 3-2. Neither team could find much offensive rhythm for much of the second quarter. The game took a slightly more violent tone as every loose ball became a real scrum, and every player that tried to penetrate to the crease paid a tough price for it. After exchanging a few shots, a few saves, and a few blows, the half ended with UMass up, 3-2.

Maryland started the third with a flurry of quick shots, but Schneider stood tall. UMass would crack the net though, as Morris put another bouncer past Alford. After some sloppy transition play by both teams, UMass quickly padded their lead with back-to-back goals, five seconds apart, tying a tourney record for fastest consecutive goals by a team. First, Jacovina tucked in the rebound of a Morris shot. Then, on the ensuing faceoff, Jake Deane won the ball cleanly, carried it in, never got picked up, fired a shot, followed it, and put in his own rebound with the longpole. The quarter ended with the Minutemen holding a four-goal edge, 6-2.

Maryland’s offense looked frustrated. They could not expose the pressure of the UMass D; they couldn’t get shots on cage; the shots that were on cage Schneider ate up. The Terps finally scored again as Michael Phipps caught a cross-cage pass, ducked inside, threw a few dip and dunks, and finally popped the ball past Schneider. The goal broke an almost 33 minute scoreless streak for Maryland.

The Terps looked to be fighting back and rattling Schneider as Max Ritz drove right at the cage and plugged a shot. But a dropped pass by Walters turned into UMass answering right back. Clay Stabert drew a defender and dumped to Connolly who finished.

Maryland tallied their finally goal of the game when Max Ritz found Dan Groot sitting off the pipe. Groot slid a shot right under Schneider to make it 7-5. The Terps came close to making it 7-6, as Healy ripped a shot that rattled the crossbar. Again UMass had the answer. Morris got his hat trick when he drove right at the post, got under his defender, and flicked a shot over Alford.

The Maryland defense actually looked better than they played. Alford came up with some big stops, including one at the end of the fourth where he dove across the cage to thwart the goal. Holding a team to eight is solid, but not when a rock solid Minutemen defense held the Terps to five.

“You’re not going to win scoring five goals in a semifinal game,” said Maryland coach Dave Cottle. “We just didn’t get it done on the offensive end of the field, which never gave us a chance to get settled in the game….We just never made a play on the offensive end of the field when it mattered.”

The Minutemen may provide an interesting element to the championship game. They are a gritty, tough team. Their strengths on defense will be tested against a loaded Virginia team. The wildcard factor of UMass even being involved this late in the year makes them a dangerous opponent, even if the Minutemen aren’t surprised about still playing.

“This group has really fought all year, so I’m not surprised,” said Greg Cannella about his team’s date with destiny Monday. His players seem ready to go. As Reid said, “There’s no place I’d rather be.”

Post A Comment To This Story >

    by (#58187) on 5/27/06 @11:00PM
amazing, i thought for sure that u-mass was done in. they proved me, a massachusetts native, dead wrong. morris had a great game, and although his numbers weren't huge, they were effective. doc was the man in thepipes, no one else can say in lacrosse they held joe walters, bill mcglone, and a ritz brother scoreless. jack ried was also his beautifully and charmingly mean self. and jackovina had a stellar game including the rest of the u-mass minuetmen.
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   sean morris... by 5/27/06 @11:20PM
   Correction by 5/28/06 @1:52PM
    by (#100809) on 5/27/06 @11:05PM
justin kelleher is the man
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   (no subject) by 5/27/06 @11:20PM
    by (#127925) on 5/27/06 @11:50PM
like i've said all year long...Joe Walters is over-rated i said to his mother and his girlfriend when they bear Denver, I said it when he was presented as a finalist as a Tewarathon finalist, and I am saying it now...Joe Walters and the "fab" three were shut down, to UMass, UMASS!!! not saying UMass sucks but they werent even ranked, but like i said as well Joe Walters cannont handle a good defense and that UMass was...and yeah Sean Morris is way better than Joe Walters...good job Morris and UMass...but ur losing to UVA sry
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   Clueless by 5/28/06 @12:13PM
      overated by 5/28/06 @2:41PM
      also by 5/28/06 @2:42PM
      Clueless!!! by 5/28/06 @11:24PM
   Alright... by 5/28/06 @2:13PM
   (no subject) by 5/28/06 @11:13PM
    by (#110204) on 5/28/06 @3:52AM
whare did umass come from
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Just goes to show...
    by (#136388) on 5/28/06 @8:29AM
...what emotion can do vs. simply talent on paper. UMass refused to believe they didn't belong in the final 4 and played that way. Maryland also seems to lose their mental edge in big games - maybe a coaching issue?
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   I agree by 5/28/06 @11:12AM
Umass d
    by (#135016) on 5/28/06 @12:15PM
doc did do an awesome job in th pipes. a lot of credit has to do to the Umass defensive coach and players, they were samrt and put all 4 longsticks on the key players, nad forced them to shoot on the run. Umass's defense deserves a lot of credit in this win by shutting down Md and making almost picture perfect clears, props to their offense for moving the ball around well an dfinding openings to put points on the board. Congrats Umass and your first NCAA Finals, I only wish you could be plaing Cuse though.
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   smart? by 5/28/06 @12:20PM
      hear that? by 5/28/06 @12:54PM
    by (#129209) on 5/28/06 @12:56PM
that was utterly pathetic. just embarassing. i guess it looks like we're back to the ol' Cottle post-season CHOKE. i don't know what it is about Cottle, but he just breaks the hell down every post-season. just falls apart. remember this is the guy whose Loyola Greyhounds back in '99 or whatever were the only team ever to be pre-season ranked #1 and then not even make it to the tourney. stop sipping coffee on the sidelines and motivate your damn team Cottle!
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   Cottle by 5/28/06 @3:01PM
Great Coaches Win Both As The Favorite & Underdog
    by (#136419) on 5/28/06 @6:02PM
If you look at Dave Cottle's career as a coach, he has had much more success as the underdog than the favorite. Without a doubt, being the underdog and having nothing to lose makes life much easier for a coach and the team. It is often even fun to come into a game angry that you are not getting respect and to have the hunger to prove people wrong. Some games that come to mind where Cottle has been the underdog and has had great results:

2005 ACC Tournament-Upset both far superior teams in Duke and UVA on the way to the championship

2001-At Loyola-Lost by only 1 to a loaded national championship Princeton team that could have easily pasted them.

1993-At Loyola-Slaughtered a Navy Team with a great goalie in the NCAA Tournament

1990-At Loyola-Beat a Jon Reese-led Yale team in the semifinals in overtime. Overcame a big defecit late and nearly won at the last second in regulation.

No doubt those are impressive feats.

However, I think that the test of a great coach is one that can also do very well when the favorite. Motivating a team and keeping them focused and not looking ahead to the next game or the party after winning the championship is not always easy to do, but it is so very important.

Take a look at Bill Tierney, who has won 6 National Championships at Princeton. In three of those, they were the favorite. In the 1994 final against Virginia, Princeton beat a team they killed in the regular season.

In 1997 and 1998 against Maryland, Tierney's Tigers were much better all-around lacrosse players and were definitely the more talented team. As many remember, there was no letdown, as Princeton won those games 15-5 and 19-7, respectively. In 1998, I bet the Maryland Terps were just a little bit fired up to avenge the pasting from a year ago.

All around, Cottle's record has been impressive. However, difference between a good and great coach is that a great coach does well as both the favorite and the underdog. Besides Tierney, see John Wooden, who won 10 basketball championships in 12 years at UC while almost always being the favorite.
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   cottle should get the boot by 5/29/06 @12:42AM
      YES! by 5/29/06 @1:11AM
   (no subject) by 5/29/06 @9:43AM
Not the same UMass team
    by (#48113) on 5/29/06 @12:24AM
I watched UMass @ Cuse a few weeks back and this def. wasn't the same team. Not a single guy on UMass (including Morris) stuck out that game but what a difference today. I was pretty impressed. As good as UVA is UMass is going to have a nice swagger going into the game and if they can get a couple runs in then I think it should be a good game. Usually I hate UMass and all their loud ass fans but during the Cuse game we sat with the UMass parents and they were all actually really great to be around. Hopefully they'll get a great show out of their team Monday
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   Umass vs UVA by 5/29/06 @10:56AM
Other possible coaches very capable of succeeding.
    by (#136419) on 5/29/06 @10:20AM
I agree that Pressler would be a good choice. However, some top notch assistants to consider: Hopkin's Seth Tierney, UVA's Marc Van Arsdale, Princeton's Dave Metzbower(Would he leave Princeton, though, after being named Associate Head Coach?), and Navy's Joe(is that his first name)Tillman.

Also, remember when Cottle beat out Gary Gait for the coaching job at Maryland? Part of the reason for this was that Gary Gait had never been a head coach before. However, he was a big part of so many women's championships at Maryland. I think that Gary could have done a great job!
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   Gait by 5/29/06 @11:10AM
      oops by 5/29/06 @11:14AM
         ... by 5/29/06 @10:26PM
Possible reason for not choosing Gait
    by (#136419) on 5/29/06 @11:02PM
Hey! I thought of a possible reason why Maryland chose Cottle over Gait. Their athletic program still had the bad memories of hiring Bob Wade as basketball coach before he had ever coached in college. However, they didn't know enough about lacrosse to know that, if they hired Gait, the results would have been awesome. What do you all think?
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   you might be right... by 5/29/06 @11:51PM
      A possible reason by 5/30/06 @1:08AM
         makes sense by 5/31/06 @12:02AM