So, by the time I got to Looney’s for the tip off of Maryland’s Sweet Sixteen loss to UConn and plopped myself down at a table with a perfect view of two side by side televisions showing both the WBB game and the men’s lacrosse game at Virginia, it was halfway through the second quarter and Terps were already up 4-1. Charlie Raffa controlled the opening face off and John Haus found Mike Chanenchuk for a goal just 35 seconds in. The Terps added to the lead when Landon Carr fed Jesse Bernhardt for goal number two. Goal number three came unassisted from the crosse of Jay Carlson. Virginia scored once as the period ended with Maryland up 3-1. Kevin Cooper notched an unassisted goal for the 4-1 lead the Terps held when I settled in to watch the two games. The first goal I saw the Terps score was a pretty special one as Niko Amato picked up one of his 14 saves on the day and found Bernhardt streaking down the field on his right for the clear. No Cavalier defender challenged the long stick and Bernhardt whipped a shot past the defenseless UVA goalkeeper to put the Terrapins up 5-1. Virginia scored late to stay within striking distance at the half. The Terrapin defense and Amato had a stellar first half holding the Cavaliers to just 2 of 18 shooting.
Raffa won the opening face off but Virginia forced him into a turnover and capitalized to cut the Maryland lead to 5-3. The Terps bounced back with a strong one on one effort from Haus who squeezed a low shot past the Virginia goalie again stretching the margin to three. After a seven minute stretch where both defenses controlled the play, Nick Manis intercepted a UVA pass and cleared to Bernhardt who got the ball to Haus and Maryland had a 7-3 lead. The Cavs scored with just thirty-one seconds left in the quarter but Raffa won the face off. The Terps moved the ball quickly up the field and with six seconds left Chanenchuk hit Carlson who flicked a spectacular no look over the shoulder shot from the left side and the Terps took a relatively comfortable four goal lead at the end of three.
The fourth period started with the defenses again dominant and Amato picking up two big saves in the first five minutes of action. Maryland finally broke through with just under nine minutes to go as Kevin Cooper passing from behind the goal found a flashing Carlson who scored his third goal of the day from close range. Virginia scored with seven minutes to go off a Maryland turnover but the Terrapin lead still seemed comfortable. Amato made a solid save on a low UVA shot with just over four minutes left but came out of the crease and Virginia forced him into a turnover. But the junior from Conshohocken was unfazed and he came back with another save just seconds later. The Terps looked to milk the clock with a four goal lead and under four minutes to play and after pulling their keeper, Virginia notched two late goals in quick succession with about a minute and a half to play. They would get one more look with under a minute remaining but Amato was again up to the task and the Terps came away with the 9-7 win. The Terps stay on the road, traveling to Annapolis to take on the Navy Midshipmen Friday night.
Down in Raleigh, the Terrapin baseball squad ended their four game skid topping the NC State Wolfpack 3-2. The Terps went three up and three down in the top of the first with one of those outs coming when LaMonte Wade, Jr. was picked off first. As they had on Friday night, the home team struck in the bottom of the first taking a 2-0 lead. Maryland got runners into scoring position in each of the next two innings but could not break through. K.J. Hockaday lined a two out double to left center in the second but was stranded when Blake Schmit grounded out to third. Anthony Amaro reached on a bunt single with one out in the top of the third and stole second with two down but again the Terps failed to pick him up. The Terps finally broke through in the top of the fourth. With one out, Kyle Convissar was hit by a pitch. Catcher Kevin Martir followed with a line drive single to right center sending Convissar to third. Hockaday sent a soft liner to left that dropped just in front of the charging left fielder driving in Convissar. Maryland could not push any other runs across. The Terps tied the game in the fifth again scoring in typical Maryland fashion. Amaro led off the inning with a single up the middle, moved to second on Charlie White’s sacrifice bunt, and scored on Wade’s sharp single to right. In the top of the seventh, the Terrapins capture the lead for the first time in the series. After a strikeout to start the inning, Amaro reached with another bunt single down the third base line and promptly stole second. He moved up to third when White lashed a single to left. LaMonte Wade laid down a perfect squeeze bunt and Amaro scored as the Wolfpack could only take the out at first. Terrapin starter Brady Kirkpatrick closed out his day retiring the Pack in order in the seventh. Kirkpatrick retired the last eight batters he faced and after the shaky start allowing no his and waling only one NC State batter over his final six innings of work. Kevin Mooney came on in relief in the eighth and the freshman from Forest Hill, Maryland held the Wolfpack in check striking out three while walking one without giving up a hit and picking up his third save of the season. Tomorrow, the Terps look to win their first series since a four game sweep of Princeton at the beginning of March. Their record currently stands at 15-11 on the season and 4-7 in ACC play.
Todd Carton (AKA FHFAN)