May 21, 2006
Towson, Md. - The second seeded University of Maryland men's lacrosse team returns to the NCAA Final Four for the third time in the past four seasons after defeating No. 7 seed Princeton, 11-6, in the quarterfinals Sunday afternoon in front of 7,260 at Towson's Unitas Stadium.
The Terps (12-4) used an opportunistic offense and a stingy defense to stifle the Tigers for much of the contest. Senior midfielder Brendan Healy scored his third straight hat trick to pace the Maryland offense, while junior All-America defenseman Steve Whittenberg tied his career high with six caused turnovers to lead the defense.
Maryland jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first quarter on a pair of goals from Healy and one each from senior All-American Joe Walters and sophomore middie Drew Evans. Princeton finally got on the board with an unassisted goal from Scott Sowanick at the 4:19 mark, but junior attackman Michael Phipps scored a minute later for the Terps to take a 5-1 lead into the second quarter.
That second period saw the Tigers score four goals in 2:57 to tie the game at 5-5. But Princeton would never take the lead as Maryland settled down and took control of the game again with a goal by freshman midfielder Dan Groot at 5:42 of the second quarter. Phipps would add another Maryland goal, his second of the game and the eventual game-winner, at 3:24 to give the Terps a 7-5 halftime advantage.
The two teams battled in the third quarter with both defenses holding the opposing offense in check. Healy tallied the lone goal of the quarter at 9:58, his third of the game. Walters started the play by drawing a double team on the right side of the Tiger crease before skipping a pass to Healy, who laced a shot from 15 yards out on the right wing past Tiger keeper Alex Hewit.
The fourth quarter started well for the Terps when Princeton's Alex Haynie was penalized for illegal procedure at 13:49 to give Maryland a man-up opportunity. The Terrapins, who are second in the nation in extra-man efficiency, took a 9-5 lead when senior Xander Ritz scored his 10th man-up goal of the season off of a quick feed from Walters to the left side of the crease.
Sophomore attackman Max Ritz score Maryland's 10th goal of the game at the 7:31 mark off an assist from older brother Xander. Walters would finish off the scoring for the Terps with his second goal of the day at 3:24. Princeton's Josh Lesko scored the game's final goal with 32 seconds left, ending a 38:09 scoreless stretch for the Tigers.
In addition to Whittenberg's six caused turnovers, the Maryland defense received outstanding efforts from its other starting close defenders. Sophomore Joe Cinosky caused three turnovers and picked up three groundballs, while junior All-American Ray Megill had four groundballs and one caused turnover. In goal, All-American Harry Alford stopped eight shots, including six in the second half.
The Terps also controlled the game from the face-off circle with senior David Tamberrino winning 11 of 20 draws and picking up a game-high seven groundballs. Junior defensive midfielder Jimmy Borell was outstanding on the wing for the Terps, tying his career best with five groundballs.
The Terps will meet unseeded Massachusetts in the semifinals on Saturday, May 27, at Lincoln Financial Field. Face-off between the Minutemen and the Terrapins is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. The second semifinal will pit No. 1 seed Virginia vs. No. 5 seed Syracuse at 2 p.m.
With today's 11-6 win Maryland is now 29-12-1 all-time vs. Princeton and 1-5 vs. the Tigers in the NCAA Tournament.
The Terps are now 19-8 all-time in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.
With four points on two goals and two assists, Joe Walters now has 41 multi-goal and 52 multi-point games in his career.
Walters raised his career record totals at Maryland to 153 goals and 227 points.
Xander Ritz scored a goal and added an assist to raise his career total to 42 multi-point games.
Today's game marked the 11th time the Ritz brothers have scored goals in the same game.
Bill McGlone did not score a goal for the first time this season, ending his goal-scoring streak at 15 games.
Brendan Healy scored three times to raise his career totals to eight hat tricks, 18 multi-goal and 27 multi-point games.
The Maryland defense held the Tigers scoreless in the third quarter, upping its season total of scoreless quarters to 18.