How big was today's game? 8,642 fans showed up to support their respective sides and that aint no MLL inflated attendance number. With 2:03 to go in the third quarter The Greene Turtle Restaurant and Bar flew and airplane advertisement for the fans to tell them where the post game party was. The crowd was oohing and awing, screaming and yelling, and blaming everything on the refs like any large respectable crowd would. If this game would have been the final in the NCAA tournament there wouldn't be a disappointed fan in the house. It had it all, great defense, highly skilled offensive moves, great goaltending on both ends, and that desperation of a disqualifying game. Read on to see how it all unfolded.
It was overcast and tinkled the slightest bit near the end, but the weather was pleasant although on the muggy side. The opening face was possessed by Maryland and Mike LaMonica got off the first shot of the game for the Terps, but it was well wide. The Terps worked the ball around to middie Alex Poole for a great shot from the middle of the restraining box, but Hopkins goalie Nick Murtha was able to elevate his right shoulder in time to deflect the ball. Hopkins cleared and quickly went to work. Adam Donegar split to his left from the top of the box and unleashed one of his howitzers, but terp goalie Danny McCormick got a piece. The rebound went to Conor Ford, but his shot went wide. Attackman Peter LeSueur in bounded the ball and tried to curl around lefty and shoot, but his stick was checked and the ball went out of bounds for a Terp possession. Maryland middie Willy Passavia took his turn, but his jump shot was stoned by Murtha and Hopkins cleared.
Peter LeSueur was not deterred by his initial failure after some good ball movement he was open for a great look. McCormick blocked the shot, but the rebound some how got to Benson's stick standing five yards from the goal. Benson sunk it for the first of his four goals, 1-0. The Terps got called for a hold on the next face. Hopkins freshman sensation middie Kyle Harrison penetrated, but shot wide. The Terps cleared and set up the sweetest goal of the day. Attackman Dan Lamonica working from X fed Jamie Daue who was cutting directly towards him to the goalie's left. Daue caught the pass right handed with one step to go before being passed goal line extended so he ripped it behind the back. Somehow the no angle shot caught far pipe to tie it, 1-1. Defenseman Michael Peyser took the first penalty of the day after a week trip call against Dan LaMonica. The Terps squandered the opportunity when the pass to X was booted. Hopkins cleared and killed the clock before Donegar split to his left from the top and shot wide. The worked the ball to Kyle Harrison and he tried the same move from the same spot. He was able to get the shot on goal, but McCormick blocked it and Bobby"Johnny on the Spot" Benson collected the rebound for another garbage goal, 2-1. Hopkins won the next face-off and worked the ball to freshman attackman Kyle Barrie. What happened afterwards Barrie hopefully will blackout because it was a violent attack leaving the poor boy in shock. Terp defenseman Chris Passavia threw so many checks in the span of ten seconds that the entire crowd was cringing as he surgically removed the ball from Barries' stick and left him crumpled on the ground. Maryland cleared to set up Mike Mollot from behind. Mike Mollot was playing at a different level today. His footwork was breaking ankles, blowing out knees, and squashing perfectly good egos. He was working against Tom Garvey and face dodged his way right handed in between the d-man and the crease to emerge in front of Murtha. The slide was late so Mollot threw one fake before burying the goal, 2-2. Maryland lost the next face, but lost the ball for Maryland to set up the final set with a timeout with 1:15 to go in the first. After a prolonged set and a couple of chances Mollot drove from behind and this time the slide was early so he fed Ryan Moran for a quick stick that scored with 1 second left.
The second quarter started out a little sloppy with a couple changes of possession on a bad flip play and two errant passes. At 12:32 Hopkins' Donegar was sweeping to his right when a defenseman picked his pocket with an over the head check (I would like to take this time to personally apologize to the d-man for not getting his number at the time, but you know who you are and it was the reason the next goal was scored). The ball was quickly sent on a fast break where the LaMonica boys lived out their backyard dreams. Dan fed Mike with a cross crease feed low and Dan finished with the lefty shot, 4-2. At 11:36 Maryland started piling it on. Senior middie Nate Watkins swept to his right, but was pushed out. The big middie put the stick in his right hand and bulled his way in along goal line extended. He squeezed between the crease and the defender before getting his left hand on the stick to shoot a backhand side arm shot that while unorthodox managed to catch the far pipe, 5-2. The Terps got another man-up when Matt Brock took a slash to the head, but while they had good opportunities they could not capatalize.
Hopkins cleared and middie Joe McDermott beat his man with a total speed move. He started behind goal line extended to the goalie's left in the corner. It was an all out sprint to curl around righty on the other side and score in the upper right just as he emerged to a shooting angle (first picture), 5-3. Maryland won the face but lost possession on crease violation. Hopkins was unable to clear, but when Watkins attacked for the Terps he was called for a ward. Watkins was on the borderline of a ward all day, but only got called once. Hopkins seized the opportunity when the cleared the ball and set up Kevin Bolland at X. He drove from behind and hit Benson on the crease for his third goal of the day and a 5-4 score. Maryland had another man-up in the half, but failed to convert and the half ended.
The Terps started the second half quickly. After controlling the opening face Mollot worked the ball from the top of the restraining box. He would continue to work from the top for most of the second half. Anyway, he fed Watkins standing in the low right handed crank position. Watkins switched hands and shot a nice lefty bounce shot off far right pipe, 6-4. Maryland looked as if they would take control of the game, but a blown assignment on the next face off led to Hopkin's Benson Erwin goal. The ball squibbed out of the face-off X towards Hopkins defense, but Erwin was just chillin' on his offensive side while everyone else went after the ball. Hopkins scooped and move to Erwin for the clear fast break. Erwin wasn't picked up so he ripped a low bounce shot that beat McCormick, 6-5. Mollot reestablished the two goal lead on a delayed penalty. Coming from behind he simply outran his man much the way McDermott did for Hopkins and scored curling around right handed, 7-5. Hopkins killed off the ensuing penalty. Murtha was able to make a spectacular save stuffing Mike LaMonica from 8 yards out and McCormick returned the favor when Hopkins cleared stoning Conor Ford. Ford came around from behind to his right and the defense had miss communicated leaving McCormick alone. The goalie attacked rather than wait and stuffed Ford before he could even take a shot. Hopkins gathered up the loose ball for Ford to feed Benson on the crease while the defense was still discombobulated, 7-6. Hopkins got a man-up on the play as well on a late call, but long stick Chris Passavia scooped the ball playing the wing and worked it to Watkins to kill it off.
Hopkins drew a penalty when Kevin Bolland got a step on d-middie Carrington King (Is that his stage name?). King wisely mugged him from behind to avoid the one with the goalie. Hopkins had some real good ball movement on the man-up, but Conor Ford missed his shot. Then on the in bound from behind Kyle Barrie found Donegar in his favorite spot. With his stick to the outside in his right hand he caught the ball about 14 yards out to McCormicks left and smoked it by him on the short side high, 7-7. From then on the game went to a different level. Hopkins had the last chances of the third, got nothing.
Mollot broke the ice at 13:12 mark with yet another right handed curl from X to make it 8-7. That would be the last goal for his squad. What ensued for the next ten minutes was heart wrenching. Murtha and McCormick made a couple of great saves each, but only after the offenses worked brilliant plays to break down defenses that were at the top of their collective games It was just outstanding lacrosse. Benson was instrumental on drawing three fouls down the stretch, one of which led to the tying goal. One was for knocking his stick out of his hands when he didn't have the ball. Then the defensemen simply took him down to the ground on the crease when he didn't have the ball. Finally, he should of borrowed Kin's stage name for this one, Benson dove backwards hurling himself on his back after long stick Lee Zink tapped him in the gut while players were fighting for a loose ball in front of the crease. It was not a smart play by Zink to touch him at all, but the dive by Benson should have been a penalty as well.
Back to the game, the man-up that occurred in the middle was the one that cost the Terps the lead. Hopkins worked the ball around and to Benson on the crease for a great look, but McCormick came up huge stuffing Benson's low shot with a kick save behind his stick. The rebound was so strong that it went all the way to Kevin Boland at the top of the restraining box. Boland immediately ripped an overhand shot that caught the upper left corner as McCormick tried to gain his composure, 8-8. Down the stretch Murtha and McCormick were totally awesome making clutch saves. Conor Ford even hit a pipe with under a minute to go, but this baby was going into overtime.
Maryland got the all important first possession in the four minute sudden death period. Maryland looked out of sync as it looked like they wanted Mollot to go, but he didn't like what he was seeing. Finally, Mollot made his move working from behind to his right and as the defense slid to him he threw one of his patented lollipop passes over the top to the back side. It wasn't high enough and long stick Corey Harned made the play of the day when he reached up fully extended and snagged the pass. He cleared the midfield line and Hopkins coach Pietramala called time-out. Peter LeSueur was matched up against short stick defender Paul Gillette. That was the match-up Hopkins wanted so they kept going back to him until he drove from behind coming top side to his left. He had a step on his defender so the adjacent slide came off of Boland leaving him open in the lefty crank spot. The crease slide was on the way so he hit Kyle Barrie for the right handed shot from ten yards out that hits upper left. 9-8 final.
|Bobby Benson||(4, 0)|
|Kevin Boland||(1, 3)|
|Kyle Barrie||(1, 1)|
|Joe Mcdermott||(1, 0)|
|Benson Erwin||(1, 0)|
|Adam Doneger||(1, 0)|
|Conor Ford||(0, 1)|
|Nick Murtha||9 (0.529)|