Some observations of a great day for Terrapin lacrosse:
What a tremendous job by our #1 offensive middie line–Drew Snider’s rise in the past 4 or 5 games has helped this team surge. I spoke over and over again about how much the Snider—Chanenchuck–Haus line had been stepping up and yes there were 7 goals today between these 3 guys. Pietramala said post game that Hopkins had practiced all week to prevent the right handed shots from Maryland but there were 5 today for goals. Much credit goes to Ryan Moran–offensive coach for his offensive scheming and getting his guys to be patient.
A lot was made of Maryland’s 12 stall warnings but this is part of the game and Tillman has mastered ball possession. 11 goals against Tucker Durkin and the Blue Jay defense is not a bad performance —check the stats. Very tired about hearing about the slow down tactics. Wait til you watch Notre Dame tomorrow. If there is no clock so be it.
Defensive Coach Kevin Warne frustrated the Blue Jays over the 6 quarters to the extent today that Hopkins barely scored unless they were a man up.Jesse Bernhardt was off the charts today and deservedly won ESPNU’s player of the game award.
But here is the bottom line. Coach Tillman lost 22 players from last year’s Championship runner up team. No one, myself included ever thought that this Terrapin squad would be a final four team before the year started. Some “experts” didn’t even pick Maryland to be a top ten team. By the way Maryland becomes the first unseeded squad to advance to Championship weekend 2 years in a row. The starting defensive line and attack line had to be replaced. Tillman, Moran, and Warne deserve a ton of credit from Terrapin nation for what has been achieved. The players played like a band of brothers not worrying a second about individual achievement. (I am miffed that Jesse is not a Tewaaraton finalist, however.)
Buy now the celebration has subsided and the topic for conversation is “unfinished business”. No explanation is needed if you are a Terrapin lacrosse fan. By the way, it seemed like 75 % of the crowd were Maryland faithful. It was incredible celebrating with the Terrapin fans post game.
Today was one of the days that I will never forget. The quarterfinal win can be so illusive. It’s the toughest game a team plays. It has now haunted Johns Hopkins so much so that Pietramala spoke about total dedication to relearn how to win this game. I predicted everywhere that Maryland would win today. Why ? Because of the 9-6 Homewood win coupled with losing 14 of 19 turnovers that day. And in the deepest part of my heart, I never believed that losing to Colgate was anything except a loss to an excellent team with perhaps the best player in the nation. Was I wrong? So now our next game Saturday in Foxboro will be against either Duke or Colgate –2 teams that beat us. Is anyone shuttering in fear. I don’t think so. This Terrapin team is more then ready for prime time and we shall soon find out.