May 4, 2002
CATONSVILLE, Md. - The No. 9 Maryland men's lacrosse team made its final statement to show it is worthy of an NCAA Tournament at-large berth with a convincing 19-9 win over state rival UMBC on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Senior Mike LaMonica (Parkton, Md.) did his best to prevent Saturday from being his last game as he recorded a career-high six goals and eight points in the win which lifted the Terps to 9-4 on the season.
"If we had lost today, it would've been about us," said Maryland head coach Dave Cottle. "We think we're one of the best six teams in the country. Now, it's up to the NCAA committee to decide.
"All of our games through April were one-point games. To win today by over ten goals, that was our goal. We played the way we wanted to play. Again, we feel we are one of the best six teams in this country."
Maryland has now won its last two games and has outscored its opponents 157-91 this season, losing all four games by just one goal -- three in overtime.
The 19 goals were the most by the Terps since a 19-3 defeat of Mount St. Mary's on Feb. 27, 2000.
The Terps broke the game open in the first quarter after falling behind 2-0 on quick goals by the Retrievers Scott Steele and Justis Smith, Maryland coach Dave Cottle called timeout. Maryland subsequently went on to score seven consecutive goals to build an insurmountable 7-2 lead with 10:20 left in the first half. In that run, Dan LaMonica (Parkton, Md.) scored a pair of man-up goals -- both off assists from brother Mike. The duo has now combined on nine scoring plays over the last two seasons.
Maryland tallied seven goals in the second quarter -- its second most in any quarter this season to lead 11-4 at halftime. The LaMonica brothers had each posted hat tricks in the first half on the way to combining for nine goals in the game.
The third quarter was more of the same with the Terps dominating the play. Junior defensive midfielder Brett Harper (Upper Arlington, Ohio) scored his second career goal and first since his first game as a freshman in 2000 just 2:50 into the third quarter to give Maryland a 12-5 lead.
After Justin Smith's third goal of the game for UMBC, Mike LaMonica reeled off three consecutive goals bridging the third and fourth quarters giving his new career of six goals in a game.
Its marked the second time in two games a Terps had scored six goals in a game, as senior Nate Watkins (Elmira, N.Y.) netted six vs. Yale on April 26.
Ryan Moran (Setauket, N.Y.) scored his third of the game to equal his career high for the third time this season to bring the Terps lead to 16-6 with 12:59 left in the fourth quarter.
Watkins scored his second of the game to make it 17-8 as he took a pass from junior Frank Luciano (Mountain Lakes, N.J.) -- for his first career assist and beat UMBC's Tim Flanagan with 6:09 left in the game. Junior Matt Urlock (Lutherville, Md.) and freshman Andrew Schwartzman (Owings Mills, Md.) closed out the scoring for the Terps in the 19-9 win.
Face-off specialist Brian Carroll (East Rockaway, N.Y.) was sensational on face-off again, winning a career-high 20 of 26 draws. Over the last two games, Carroll has won 38 of 51 (75 percent). He also corralled six groundballs for the second game in a row.
Junior All-American candidate Michael Howley (Wantagh, N.Y.) had a career-high eight groundballs as the Terps piled up a 48-34 advantage in the category.
The Terps await their NCAA Tournament fate as the field will be announced on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. on Empire Sports Network (Channel 626 on DirecTV and Channel 432 on Dish Network).