Maryland vs. Virginia: Halftime thoughts
Maryland’s bid for its first national championship since 1975 isn’t looking too strong as the unseeded Terps trail seventh-seeded Virginia, 5-3, at halftime of the NCAA tournament final at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore Monday.
Maryland (13-4) has had leads of 1-0 and 3-2 in the first and second quarters, respectively, but the Cavaliers (12-5) ended the half with three goals over a span of 2 minutes, 25 seconds for the game’s first two-goal cushion.
The Terps had numerous chances to extend their 1-0 lead in the first quarter. On a 4-on-3 break, sophomore long-stick midfielder Jesse Bernhardt took a shot from the high slot, but missed the cage. Senior long-stick midfielder Brian Farrell’s blast from the high slot rang off the left post, and junior midfielder Joe Cummings took a high shot from the right alley that sailed over the net.
In the second quarter, senior attackman Ryan Young had two opportunities to score. After curling around the left post, his bounce shot hit the right post. And in the final minute, Young curled around the right post, but missed the top half of the cage.
*Virginia’s zone defense continues to confuse opponents. After limiting No. 2 seed Cornell and No. 6 seed Denver to nine and eight goals, respectively, the unit has allowed Maryland to put just eight of 18 shots on net. Meanwhile, the Cavaliers have put 11 of 16 shots on net. Young does not have a single point, and senior attackman Grant Catalino has been quiet since scoring the game’s first goal with 12:27 left in the first quarter.
*Senior defenseman Brett Schmidt has done his job keeping Virginia junior attackman and Tewaaraton Award finalist Steele Stanwick off the scoreboard, but the Terps have been guilty of ball-watching. Redshirt sophomore midfielder Colin Briggs has scored three goals since returning from a one-game layoff termed as a coach’s decision, and sophomore attackman Nick O’Reilly has posted one goal and two assists.
*Sophomore Curtis Holmes has given Maryland the edge at faceoffs, winning 7-of-10 draws. But the Terps have committed five turnovers to the Cavaliers’ one, and both teams are even in ground balls with eight each.