- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 7, 2006

Joe Walters’ march to the top of Maryland’s career goals list is complete.

Next up for the Terrapins’ senior star: A final chance at a national championship.

Walters scored four times to pass Matt Hahn as the school’s all-time goals leader and senior Brendan Healy added three goals as No. 4 Maryland thrashed No. 10 Penn 12-4 yesterday at Byrd Stadium in the regular-season finale for both teams.

Walters broke the record with 1:02 left in the third quarter, taking a tightly directed pass from senior Bill McGlone before slinging it sidearm from the right wing for his 150th career goal.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” Walters said as a line of kids seeking autographs formed near him. “Just to have your name amongst the greats of this program is something special. To finally get the record is just amazing. I can’t believe that I actually did it.”

Walters, who needs three more points to establish that Maryland record, started his march as a finisher as a freshman and developed into a more complete player the next spring. After a dip in production last year that still resulted in a second-team All-American nod, Walters has the Terps (10-4) on the verge of another deep NCAA tournament run.

In recent weeks, though, the looming record has drawn attention as Walters closed in on Hahn. Walters was held without a point for the first time since the 2003 NCAA semifinals in the Terps’ loss to Virginia in the ACC title game a week ago.

Those struggles didn’t carry into yesterday’s game against the Quakers (10-3).

“It’s an unbelievable accomplishment,” Maryland coach Dave Cottle said. “I never really thought about it much until the last couple games. If I was thinking about it, then you know he was thinking about it.”

Well before Walters set the record, his defense helped Maryland put away Penn. Goalie Harry Alford made five first quarter saves as the Terps overcame some early sluggishness to take a 2-1 lead even though Penn held a 13-7 shots advantage.

The Terps’ senior offensive stars didn’t permit it to stay close, combining for five goals in the second quarter to make it 7-1 at halftime.

“The thing that worried me most was their defense and their goalie, and those guys bullied us around today,” Penn coach Brian Voelker said.

It was an inopportune poor showing for the Quakers, who were in line to rebound from an ugly 2-11 season last spring to an NCAA tournament at-large berth. Penn has victories over Cornell and UMBC but absorbed blowout losses to Princeton and Maryland in its final four games.

It might not matter, especially with so many other bubble teams stumbling yesterday. Colgate, Loyola and Penn State all could have made solid claims to an NCAA bid, but all of them lost.

“We feel like we should get in and we deserve to get in, but the bottom line is you never want to put your hopes and dreams in somebody else’s hands,” Voelker said. “Today we did that.”

Maryland’s postseason fate is far less hazy. The Terps probably locked up at least the No. 4 seed in the tournament, though that would almost certainly put them in line for a semifinal meeting with Virginia. A No. 3 seed — the same spot Maryland occupied in the last three tournaments — also is possible given the Terps’ strong schedule.

Either way, Walters’ play will be central to the Terps’ postseason success. With the program’s most prominent record out of the way, Walters is concentrating on helping Maryland finally end its 31-year title drought.

“It’s a weight off my shoulders,” Walters said. “I don’t want to have to think about those kind of things going into the playoffs. When you go to the playoffs, it’s about one thing and it’s winning.”

No. 5 Georgetown 10, No. 16 Penn State 9

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Trevor Casey scored with 45 seconds left as the Hoyas (10-2, 6-1 ECAC) rallied with three goals in the fourth quarter to upend the Nittany Lions (8-5, 5-2) and clinch an outright conference title.

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