Maryland exercised revenge on the only team to beat them this season by scoring seven unanswered goals spanning the second and third quarters to defeat Virginia 12-8 in Orlando, Fl. Buggs Combs continued to be a strong finisher scoring four goals. Pat McGinnis had another impressive day in cage with 13 saves. At 5-6 UVA is in danger of missing the NCAA tournament for the first time in Dom Starsia’s tenure in Charlottesville. "We are still in the ballpark for NCAAs. We just have to regroup, get better, and finish out the season."
The scoring started with Maryland's Mike Mollot taking his defender Mark Koontz from behind and putting it between McGinnis' legs. Buggs Combs followed that up by taking his defender one-on-one and finishing high. Virginia got their first in an odd situation, as they were 3 men-up. Jamison Mullen had the honor off a feed from Conor Gill.
The second quarter began with Virginia tying the score at 2. Ian Shure had the goal on a shot that deflected off McGinnis. Maryland answered with Combs sticking a side-arm shot opposite stick hip. Virginia tied the score again at 3 as Gill stuck a jump shot off a broken clear by Maryland. Virginia then went up a goal when Hanley Holcomb ripped a shot on man-up after Maryland was hit with a slashing penalty. But that would be the end of the Virginia offense for awhile. On the other hand, Maryland scored two more goals to close out the quarter. Dan LaMonica was first as he took Brett Hughes high then rolled underneath and scored. The second goal was huge in terms of momentum. Dave Rose stole the ball with 8 seconds left and fed Nate Watkins. Watkins streaked up the field and shot just as the horn went off. “That was as good a play as I’ve ever seen on a lacrosse field by a defensive midfielder,” said Maryland Head Coach Dick Edell.
The Maryland run continued into the second half. Mike LaMonica took a short stick to goal and put it low and away. Mollot was next when he dodged from behind and went low. Combs scored again to make the score 8-4 off a feed from Alex Poole. The Terps kept rolling when Mollot stepped away from his defender and shot a bouncer that took an odd hop and hit the back of the net. Dan LaMonica ran off a pick from behind and stuck it top right. Virginia finally scored with 1:07 remaining in the third quarter with Jamison Mullen unassisted. Gill got another as he dodged from behind and scored a one-handed shot.
Gill tried to make a run by himself scoring again to bring the Cavs within three. But they didn’t get any closer as Maryland scored two more. Combs unassisted on EMO then Dan LaMonica on a sweet move. He faked low, got Tillman Johnson to drop to his knees, then stuck it high. The classic "dip and dunk." The Mullen brothers combined for the game’s final goal with a minute left.
Gill was injured towards the end of the game and was wearing a sling after the game. Johnson summed up the game for his Cavaliers, "Our defense didn't play well today. The slides weren't coming. Maybe some of that was my fault. We weren't talking." Johnson had no comment on their chances for an NCAA birth, "I have no idea how that thing works. Whatever happens, happens." Starsia on his team's performance, “It seemed like we made two mistakes for everything we did right and you can’t get away with that against a team of the caliber of Maryland.” Edell was happy after the game but felt the team's work was not done, "This is only half the task. We came here to win the championship." Edell gave credit to his attack, "They are making some good decisions. They are starting to think, 'I've got a shot but maybe somebody will have a better one.'"
Maryland will play the winner of Duke/UNC on Sunday at 2:30pm. Virginia's next game will be against Ohio State at home on Saturday.
Maryland vs. Virginia