BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Senior Joe Cummings scored with six seconds left in the fourth to send the Maryland men’s lacrosse team to the NCAA tournament quarterfinals with a 10-9 victory at No. 7 seed Lehigh Sunday night in front of 2,278 at Banko Field at Ulrich Sports Complex.
The Terps (10-5) advance to the quarterfinals and will play No. 2 seed Johns Hopkins game on Sat., May 19 at noon at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis. The Mountain Hawks finish their season with a 14-3 record.
Maryland got off to a quick start with redshirt sophomore Mike Chanenchuk finding senior Drew Snider in the left alley and Snider ripped a shot into the upper right corner with just 1:27 elapsed.
A goal by Lehigh’s David DiMaria was waived off at the 10:52 mark, but a pushing call on freshman Goran Murray put the Mountain Hawks up a man and Kyle Stiefel scored off of a feed from DiMaria to tie the game at 1-1 with 10:37 to go in the first.
That’s when junior Owen Blye took over the game, figuring into the Terps’ next five goals.
The first of those came on the extra-man opportunity following a tripping call on DiMaria. Blye found Cummings on the crease for the easy score with 9:12 to go to make it 2-1 for the Terps.
Blye scored his first goal of the game as the clock wound down in the first quarter, coming around the left side of the cage and scoring from the left wing with just 0:06 left on the clock.
The extra-man unit struck again for the first tally in the second as Blye found junior Billy Gribbin on the right wing and Gribbin ripped a shot past Lehigh goalie Matthew Poillon at the 9:11 mark to up the Terrapin lead to 4-1.
Blye was in the giving mood again less than two minutes later finding freshman Jay Carlson on the crease for his first score since April 6. But, the play wouldn’t have been made without Cummings moving the ball to Blye after slipping on the turf behind the cage.
The 5-0 Terrapin run was finished with Blye hitting senior Michael Shakespeare in the left alley and Shakespeare let a laser fly on the step-down shot to make it a 6-1 game with 5:52 to play.
But the Mountain Hawks would not go quietly into the half as DiMaria took advantage of a defensive switch that had him isolated with a short-stick and he scored unassisted from just above left goal line extended.
That goal snapped a scoreless stretch of 21:28 for Lehigh, but the Mountain Hawks turned that into the start of a 3-0 run to close out the second quarter as Stiefel scored twice before the quarter was out to make it a 6-4 game going into halftime.
Lehigh continued its run in the third, holding Maryland scoreless and putting up four of its own to take an 8-6 lead into the final 15:00.
The difference in the third was Poillon, who made six of his saves in the quarter to allow Lehigh to build its lead.
Snider ended a scoring skid of 22:26 for the Terps by finishing a feed inside from Chanenchuk with a high bouncer that just got under the crossbar to cut the lead to 8-7 with 13:26 to play in the fourth.
The Mountain Hawks didn’t let the Terps build any momentum as Dante Fantoni scored his first of the game to up the lead back to two at 9-7 just 32 seconds later.
Maryland continued to fight and Snider was a big reason why, scoring his third goal of the game on an unassisted goal dodging from the left wing to cut the deficit to one at the 8:03 mark.
The comeback was complete with 6:42 to go in the fourth when Chanenchuk scored unassisted from the right alley with a blistering shot inside the far pipe. That goal pulled the Terps even at 9-9, which was the first time the game was tied since the 13:07 mark of the third when it was 6-6.
Freshman Charlie Raffa, who won 10-of-14 faceoffs for the game, won the ensuing faceoff when a pile up resulted in a conference by the officials, who ended up ruling Terrapin ball on a hold by the Mountain Hawks.
That possession saw junior John Haus lose his defender and get a good look at the goal from close in on the left wing, but Poillon came up with his 15th save of the game.
Lehigh had the ball with a chance to retake the lead with 4:49 to play, but sophomore Michael Ehrhardt caused his third turnover of the game to give Maryland the ball back with 4:40 to play.
The Terrapins never gave Lehigh another possession.
Shots by Blye and Kevin Cooper early in the possession were too high, but Blye’s second attempt was Poillon’s 16th save of the game. However, Poillon couldn’t control the rebound and Snider came away with the biggest groundball of the game with just 1:26 remaining.
That set the stage for Cummmings’ heroics, as he patiently waited as the clock ticked down to under 20 seconds left before making his move, dodging around the right side of the cage and slipping the game-winner past Poillon with just six seconds left.
Raffa finished with a game-high five groundballs, while sophomore goalie Niko Amato was credited with six saves.
• With today’s 10-9 win, Maryland is now 4-1 all-time vs. Lehigh.
• Maryland is now 14-3 all-time in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
• With two points on two goals, senior Joe Cummings now has 30 multi-point and 22 multi-goal games for his career.
• With two points on two goals, Cummings moves past Bud Beardmore (1960-62) for sole possession of 34th on the all-time points list at Maryland with 109.
• With three points on three goals, senior Drew Snider now has four hat tricks, 15 multi-point and 10 multi-goal games for his career.
• With five points on one goal and four assists, junior Owen Blye now has 20 multi-point and 11 multi-assist games for his career.
• With three points on one goal and two assists, redshirt sophomore Mike Chanenchuk now has four multi-point and one multi-assist games for his Maryland career.