Sunday, May 20, 2012
After beating No. 7 Lehigh last weekend in a last-second thrilling finish, Maryland men's lacrosse head coach John Tillman must have appreciated his team's "boring" win on Saturday.
The Terps crushed No. 2 Johns Hopkins 11-5 and advanced to their second straight Final Four in what was one of the least suspenseful games of the NCAA Tournament thus far.
Hopkins got out to a 1-0 start behind a goal from Mark Goodrich, but Maryland answered 90 seconds later with a goal of its own. It never trailed after that.
Knotted up at 2-2 early in the second quarter, the Terps scored a flurry of goals and ended the half up 6-2. By the fourth quarter, they led 10-3.
"This one is definitely extra-special because it's Maryland-Hopkins, it's a huge rivalry. There's a lot on the line. For our guys to play with the composure, with the energy and to have a complete team win like we had, it was really exciting," senior attackman Joe Cummings told Washington Times reporter Patrick Stevens.
It was a dominant win made even more impressive by Maryland's fundamentally impressive performance. The Terps won nearly two-thirds of ground balls and faceoffs and outshot the Blue Jays 28-16.
It was Maryland's second win over its in-state rival this season. And with the win came a bit of history, as Tillman became the first coach to lead an unseeded team to two Final Fours.
Amazingly, he did the same thing last year in his first season under the Terps -- and led the team to an NCAA Tournament runner-up.
"I thought we got outplayed. I thought we got outhustled. And I thought they deserved to win," Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala told Stevens.
Maryland faces off against No. 3 seed Duke next Saturday on ESPN2 at a time to be determined. The Terps split the season series with the Blue Devils, winning 10-7 in the regular season and losing 6-5 in the ACC Tournament.