Maryland's loss to Virginia "inadvertent"?
Just finished watching the ESPN2 broadcast of the Terps’ 10-9 loss to the Cavaliers in seven overtimes, and no announcement was made (or maybe I didn't hear it over the roars of the crowd) in the press box above Klockner Stadium in Charlottesville, Va., that Grant Catalino’s goal in the first overtime period was negated by what is known in lacrosse circles as an "inadvertent whistle."
Let me set the scene. On the faceoff to open overtime, Maryland sophomore midfielder Dan Burns scooped up a loose ball and after racing into the box, passed the ball to Catalino, who was standing to Burns’ left. The sophomore attackman whipped the ball past Virginia sophomore goalkeeper Adam Ghitelman and inside the right post to give the No. 9 Terps a 10-9 victory and knock the No. 1 Cavaliers from the ranks of the undefeated.
Simple, right? Wrong.
Moments before Catalino unleashed his blast, one of three referees officiating the contest blew his whistle, thereby ceasing play and ruling Catalino’s score dead. After a conversation with the other officials and Maryland coach Dave Cottle, the Terps are not charged with a timeout and are given possession near the sidelines. And still no goal.
In a phone conversation earlier today, Terps coach Dave Cottle confirmed that the official mistakenly thought he heard someone from the Maryland bench request a timeout.
"The ref told me he messed up," Cottle said. "It’s a bad mistake, and he’s human, too. There are a lot of things that we can control out there, but we can’t control that. We just have to focus in on the things that we can control and try to get ready for Navy [on Friday]."
Cottle theorizes that the official, who was standing in front of the Virginia side of the field and at least 20 yards away from the Terps bench, heard someone call a timeout and assumed the request came from Maryland. Cottle asserts that if he – and he emphasized that he is the lone person to ask a referee for a timeout – had called a timeout, he would have asked the official who was trailing the play.
Cottle said he told the officiating crew that he reserves the right to file an official protest and that the team plans to send film of the incident to the body that governs the referees and the NCAA. But he also acknowledged that he has no expectations on a reversal.
"I don’t know if there’s ever been a game that has been changed – in any sport," Cottle said. "I don’t know what’s done. … We’re going to send the film and see where it goes. But we’ve already started on Navy. And quite honestly, the more you cry about it, the more you look like you’re a sore loser. So from our perspective, it was disappointing, it was something that shouldn’t have occurred, but at the same end, we have to move on."
Cottle said he was proud of his players for continuing to play and refraining from being frustrated by the official’s call. He also defended the referee in question.
"He made a mistake. That wasn’t larceny or anything like that," Cottle said. "That was a man-made mistake, and I think he feels sick about it. So from our standpoint, we feel as though we probably deserved a better fate, but there were some mistakes that we can change and improve on, and we’ve got to get ready for this Navy team."