- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 6, 2007

Chris Feifs might have been the most untested commodity on Maryland’s inexperienced offense when the season began in February, a senior who played sparingly for three years.

A strong month to finish the year helped him establish his value heading into the NCAA tournament.

Feifs scored a career-high four goals in his final regular-season home game as the No. 7 Terrapins rolled to a 12-4 victory over Yale before 1,273 at Byrd Stadium.

“It’s been very satisfying,” said Feifs, who has 14 goals this season. “For three years I’ve waited my turn and now it’s time for me to step up and kind of pull my weight. It’s been really refreshing to get out there and score some goals.”

Michael Phipps and Jeremy Sieverts both scored three goals for the Terps (10-5), who all but ended the NCAA tournament hopes for the Bulldogs (7-6).

Feifs delivered in several ways yesterday, continuing a stretch that began with three goals that kept Maryland close in an overtime loss to Johns Hopkins. It was then Feifs started to effectively mix the placement of his powerful shot.

He needed less than a minute to put the Terps up yesterday, taking a transition feed from defenseman Ray Megill and depositing it on goalie George Carafides (18 saves). In the second quarter, he cranked a shot into the lower corner of the goal to make it 5-0.

The Terps, who didn’t surrender a goal in the first 27 minutes, turned it into a rout in the third quarter. Feifs scored twice after the half — a 14-yard dart up high typical of some of his goals early in the season, and a left-to-right cutter off a feed from Sieverts to extend Maryland’s lead to 12-1.

All that from a player who entered the season with two career goals on eight shots.

“It’s amazing, isn’t it?” Maryland coach Dave Cottle said. “He was a kid we were just hoping to get 10 goals out of.”

Feifs wasn’t the only part of the offense to thrive for the Terps, who outshot Yale 43-18 and didn’t yield a shot to the Bulldogs in the third quarter. Maryland scored several unsettled goals and forced 25 turnovers to make up for a shaky performance on faceoffs (6-for-19).

Phipps had a natural hat trick in the first quarter for the Terps, who have scored at least 10 goals in three straight games.

“The big question mark all year is how is the offense going to do,” Phipps said. “It’s important we’re progressing like we are for the tournament.”

The Terps will await tonight’s tournament field announcement and likely will play at Byrd on Saturday afternoon. Cottle, a selection committee member who left immediately after the game to catch a flight to Indianapolis, emphasized the importance of matchups in a postseason setting.

He mentioned one advantage for Maryland is the limited number of teams still playing on grass. Neither Loyola nor Towson — Maryland’s most likely first-round opponents — play on the surface.

“Hopefully we got ourselves a home game,” Cottle said. “I don’t know if it’s going to work out that way. … This team has really improved. You guys have seen them all year and we’re getting better.”

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