#2 Maryland lax extends UVa. losing streak to four
The No. 2 Maryland Terrapins (7-1, 2-1 ACC) started Saturday’s contest at Klöckner Stadium on a 5-1 run, which proved to be the foundation in topping the No. 17 Virginia Cavaliers (5-5, 0-1 ACC) in front of 5,225 fans during UVa’s ACC opener.
Virginia dropped its fourth game in a row for only the second time in the Dom Starsia era and the first time that has happened since the 2004 season. Besides the 2004 season, the current four-game slide and two separate runs in the 2001 season, are the only time under Starsia that UVa has had a streak of three losses in a row.
“When you don’t win, every little mistake gets magnified,” said Starsia. “I think Maryland would feel the same way if the result was different. They threw the ball away a couple times. We gave up some of the unsettled goals, which hurt us last week as well, but I thought we got organized at halftime on our unsettled defense. But they have a good kid with the long pole making plays. I don’t think there needs to be dangers afoot, but if we want to win at this level we have to play a little better.”
The Terrapins started fast on the 5-1 run. Six minutes into the game Maryland had a 3-0 lead behind goals by Mike Chanenchuk, Jesse Bernhardt and Jay Carlson. Ryan Tucker ended the spurt and put UVa on the board at 6:19 on a pass from Nick O’Reilly.
Maryland reeled off goals by Kevin Cooper and a second by Bernhardt to cap the run. Mark Cockerton scored his first goal of the game at 2:05 off a roll dodge to end the first half scoring and send UVa into the intermission trailing, 5-2.
Tucker found nylon at 13:37 in the third quarter on an O’Reilly pass to bring UVa within two goals, 5-3. UVa had a golden opportunity after Bernhardt was tagged for a full-time served illegal body check penalty, but Niko Amato made a stick save on Tucker and the penalty was ran out.
John Haus scored back-to-back goals, roughly seven minutes apart, and the Terrapins took a commanding 7-3 lead. Virginia tried to claw back, beginning with a no-look goal on the crease by James Pannell on a feed from Matt White, bringing UVa to within three goals, 7-4.
Maryland recorded what proved to be the dagger on back-to-back goals by Carlson, the second with 8:47 minutes left on a Cooper feed. Trailing 9-4, UVa mounted a three-goal run to come within two goals, 9-7. White found Cockerton at 7:00 to start the spurt.
After UVa started a 10-man ride in the final minutes, Greg Danseglio stepped in front of Cooper shot on the open cage, making the save with his chest inside the crease. Danseglio picked up the ground and streaked on the clear, finding Greg Coholan for the score with 1:35 left.
Virginia won the ensuing faceoff as Scott McWilliams picked up the ground ball. McWilliams on the transition assisted a goal by O’Reilly at 1:27. After Maryland won the ensuing faceoff, Owen Blye committed an uncaused turnover. Tucker made a dodge and released a shot that Amato made a tremendous kick-save with 47 seconds left. Maryland secured the ground ball and the victory.
Virginia won the shots battle (41-32), the ground balls battle (34-32) and tied the faceoff battle (10-10). Amato had 14 saves for Maryland and Rhody Heller had eight saves for UVa, while one save was credited to Virginia’s team for Danseglio stepping in front of the fourth quarter shot.
“I like this team,” said Starsia. “Who they’ve been on the practice field and almost every game situation. We have this never say die attitude. At the same time, we have to be a little better. We have to finish a little better, defend a little better, and I’ll have to coach a little better. Everyone will have to pick up the pace a little bit. We play teams that know us and take us seriously and if we want to win, we’re going to have to continue to improve and clean things up. After the first game of the year when we beat Drexel in overtime, I was thinking that it wasn’t very satisfying – it’s good to take a W over an L, but I was really proud of this effort today. This team, if it continues to work hard and improve, still has a chance to do some damage.”
Virginia returns to action on April 6 when North Carolina comes to Klöckner Stadium. Faceoff is set for 3:30 p.m. and will be webcast live on ESPN3. Maryland has a road tilt at Navy on April 5 at 7 p.m.