One coach called today’s Maryland/Hopkins game “must win”, the other just seemed to be pleased with his team’s solid play with things they could “control.”
It might be surprising to note however, that it was the coach with 2 National Championships-Johns Hopkins’ Dave Pietramala-who thought his team had won a “must win” game following their 10-9 defeat of Maryland at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore Saturday.
When the sun finally came out following hours of rain at Inside Lacrosse’s “Day of Rivals” event, the Blue Jays came with it. Trailing 8-7 in the 3rd quarter; Hopkins scored the next 3 goals and took a 10-8 lead. Maryland didn’t give up, with Dan Groot scoring in the game’s final minute; and Michael Gvozden having to come up with his final of 12 saves on a point blank attempt by Grant Catalino to ensure victory. The game was played before an announced crowd of 20,732 at the home of the Baltimore Ravens.
But despite an effort that clearly pleased Maryland Coach Dave Cottle (“I thought the kids played hard”); the Terrapins fell to 6-5 overall on the season, suffering their 3rd consecutive loss. Making things more difficult, the series that is clearly the most storied in all of College Lacrosse has become decidedly one-sided in favor of the Jays. Hopkins now takes a 66-38-1 advantage in series history, and Cottle falls to 1-7 against Hopkins since taking over as Head Coach at Maryland.
Player of the Game Kyle Wharton paced the Blue Jays offensively with 3 goals and an assist. Michael Kimmel added 2 goals and 2 assists; Chris Boland and Brian Christopher all had a goal and an assist. The Terps got 11 saves from goalie Brian Phipps; and were lead offensively by Dan Groot’s 3 goals. Grant Catalino and Jeremy Sieverts each scored 2 goals and tallied an assist.
The Blue Jays improve to 5-4 on the season; and return to Homewood Field for a contest against Navy next Saturday. Pietramala called today’s event “too grand a stage” to be bothered by the fact that the important rivalry had left a campus site. His Jays have now won 2 straight after a 3 game losing streak. “Petro” was especially pleased to pick up a 1 goal victory of 2 previous 1 goal losses on the season. He was quick to warn against complacency though, saying “I don’t wanna assume that just because we beat Maryland all of a sudden we’re okay.”
The Terps return to College Park for an afternoon tilt with Binghamton Tuesday; needing a win to get back on track. The Terps are teetering on the NCAA Tournament bubble currently, but Coach Cottle seems to think today’s game could help the Terps moving forward. “This is the beginning” said Cottle, “This team’s gonna start playing better now.”
If the Terps are going to even approach the lofty goals most fans and analysts assumed for them this season; Cottle will have to be correct.
(Note: The Terps played without attackman Will Yeatman, who Dave Cottle said sprained his ankle last weekend and was unable to be ready to play in time.)