April 25, 2004
CHAPEL HILL, N.C.-- Top-seeded Maryland captured its first ACC Tournament Championship since 1998 and just its second ever with a 12-11 win over Virginia at Fetzer Field on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Sophomore Joe Walters was named the Tournament MVP after he scored a career-high six goals. Combined with his three goals in the semifinal win over Duke, Walters scored nine goals over two days -- a new ACC Tournament record.
The Terps took a commanding lead in the third quarter as Walters scored three goals in a 4-1 run to put Maryland head 12-7 at the end of the third quarter.
"Our kids just competed so hard and worked to win this ACC Championship," said head coach Dave Cottle, who won his first ACC Championship in his third year at Maryland. "I am so proud of the passion we played with. Our senior leadership really came through and helped us to this title."
The Terps held off Virginia in the final quarter as the Cavaliers scored all four goals to cut the lead to 12-11 with just 40 seconds left as Joe Yevoli scored his third goal of the game. Virginia had the ball in the final seconds but Yevoli's pass to Foster Gilbert with seven seconds left gave the Terps the title.
"It is especially sweet after four years," said senior captain Chris Passavia. "Now sophomores have a pretty impressive resume now with the final four appearance last season and now an ACC Championship. Hopefully we can follow this up with something special this May."
Walters' six goals was one off shy of the ACC Tournament record for goals in game set by former Terp Scott Hochstadt, who scored seven in the 1998 title game when the Terps last won, beating Virginia, 14-11.
Along with the MVP Walters, six other Terps were named to the ACC All-Tournament Team: graduate goalie Tim McGinnis, senior midfielder Paul Gillette, senior defenseman Chris Passavia, senior defenseman Lee Zink and senior attacker J.R. Bordley.
|Members of the Maryland ACC Championship team with the trophy.|
Following a fast-paced and high-scoring first quarter, the teams' defenses settled as both teams scored just one goal. Virginia's John Christmas brought the Cavaliers to within one goal at 7-6 just 1:33 into the second period. Walters netted his third goal of the game with 6:11 left in the first half. For Walters the goal gave him nine hat tricks in 12 games this season and it was his 33rd tally of the year - equaling his total from the freshman season.
The first quarter was fast and furious with the team combining for a shocking 12 goals as the Terps lead 7-5 after the first 15 minutes. Maryland jumped on top 3-0 as Landon School grads J.R. Bordley (two goals) and Ian Healy combined for the opening trio in the first 5:06. Virginia got on the board as Kyle Dixon scored a minute after the Terps built the 3-0 lead. Xander Ritz made it 4-1 as he converted a pass from Brendan Healy with 7:35 left in the first quarter.
Virginia reeled off the next two goals as Drew Thompson scored his first career goal and Joe Yevoli scored to make it 4-3 with 6:09 left in the first. Walters went to work as he scored the next two goals making it 6-3. The second of the pair came off a face-off win by senior Drew Virk, who dished the ball to Walters on a break who beat Johnson. It was Virk's first career point.
Ritz made it 7-3 with a laser which also came off a face-off win by Virk. Virginia netted the final two goals of the quarter as Nathan Kenney and Joe Yevoli beat Tim McGinnis for the 7-5 score at the end of the period.
Maryland faces Notre Dame at Byrd Stadium next Saturday at 1 p.m.