If recent lacrosse history is any indication, controversial calls usually don't turn out Maryland's way. Neither do exceedingly close, down to the wire finishes. Nor do games against Johns Hopkins, which Maryland hasn't beaten since 2006.
Maybe it was fitting that all three trends were reversed on one day.
Johns Hopkins was struggling coming into tonight's matchup, hovering at .500 and needing an impact win. Their start displayed their urgency, taking an early 4-1 lead in the first quarter. They didn't score for the rest of the first half, though, and would have to wait nearly an hour in real time to score another goal. Maryland would rally against the three-goal deficit to eventually take the lead, which Hopkins would never reclaim.
But a game against a rival like Johns Hopkins is never easy. With about two minutes left and leading 10-7, Maryland was trying to burn clock. A desperate Hopkins squad was able to gain control and net two goals in under a minute to get the deficit down to one with exactly one minute on the clock. Maryland would win the ensuing face-off, however, and senior Bryn Holmes - who had never beaten Hopkins in his Maryland career - burned nearly 45 seconds off the clock while doubled by Bluejay defenders before finally losing control. That left JHU defender Sam DeVore with a nearly impossible full field run to get off a shot, and he wasn't able to do it. Maryland finally walked away with a victory over hated JHU, 10-9.
The controversial call came at the end of the third quarter, as Maryland had a two man advantage with the ball in the box. As time was expiring, a Maryland player appeared to step outside of the box, which proved problematic, because the referee had already given the stall warning. In lacrosse, once the stall warning is given, the team cannot take the ball back outside of the box, or they lose possession. The Terps, however, retained possession of the ball, and went on to score shortly after the fourth quarter began. It obviously wasn't as, oh, decisive as some of the calls that went against Maryland in the past, but a goal is a goal, especially when it was the final difference.
To those of you uninitiated with lacrosse, this is the equivalent of beating Duke. Riot, anyone?