May 11, 2003
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Through 55 minutes Sunday at Byrd Stadium in the first round of the 2003 NCAA men's lacrosse tournament, third-seeded Maryland's offense was clicking and its defense appeared unbreakable.
But within a three-minute span late in the game, the No. 17 Ohio State Buckeyes had the crowd of 2,294 on the edge of its seats, nearly overcoming a five-goal fourth quarter deficit before succumbing to the Terrapins 8-5 on a humid and windy afternoon in College Park and a national television audience on CSTV.
The Terps, who will play Massachusetts (9-6 winners over Hofstra on Sunday) next Saturday in the tourney quarterfinals, built a 6-1 lead on strong team defense and had major offensive contributions from unlikely sources.
Second-line midfielders Sean Leary (Troy, Mich.), Matt Brock (Manakin-Sabot, Va.) and Willy Passavia's (Stony Brook, N.Y.) first-half goals staked Maryland (11-3) to a 3-0 lead in a defensive-minded 30 minutes of action that saw only 27 combined shots between the teams. The goals were only the fifth of the season for Leary and Passavia, while Brock's tally was his first of the season.
Mollot's unassisted goal gave Maryland a 4-0 lead, before Ohio State's Mike Norton broke Maryland goalie Danny McCormick's (McLean, Va.) nearly 28-minute scoreless streak with just over two minutes remaining in the first half.
Jamie Daue (Lutherville, Md.) scored his fourth goal of the season midway through the third stanza and Walters deked Buckeye goalie Tony Russo to give Maryland a seemingly safe five-goal lead with less than 12 minutes to play. McCormick again shut down the Buckeyes' offense through much of the second half, until the late Ohio State rally.
The Buckeyes (9-5) scored four goals in three minutes - including two in 12 seconds - and Pat Myers' second goal of the rally drew Ohio St. to within one goal as time wound down. Mollot stopped the bleeding with his second tally and Ryan Moran (Setauket, N.Y.) closed the scoring with his 22nd goal of the season into an empty net to secure the Maryland victory.
Despite the near late-game collapse, Maryland's defensive effort marked the best showing in an NCAA Tournament game since 1983 when the Terps held the Virginia Cavaliers to just four goals in a first-round affair. McCormick finished with 13 saves, including several one-on-one stops.
The time for next week's quarterfinal match with the Minutemen will be announced tomorrow. Check umterps.com for updates on Maryland men's lacrosse tournament action. Maryland's only previous meeting with UMass was a 13-4 Terps win in Amherst on May 8, 1983.