- Freak lightning storm kills 1, injures many on California beach
- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
No. 3 Johns Hopkins rallies from a five-goal deficit to defeat No. 4 Maryland in OT
Question of the Day
The scoreboard at Byrd Stadium remained illuminated deep into Saturday night – after the final goal, after press conferences not far from its shadow and after Maryland packed up after yet another close loss to Johns Hopkins.
The Terrapins’ last, best chance - fired from the stick of their most potent finisher – grazed the pipe. The Blue Jays’ opportunity settled in the back of the net. Both shots unfolded in overtime.
“I’ll be very forthright,” Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala said after the Blue Jays’ 12-11 win. “That game could have gone either way. They hit a pipe at the end of the game and if it goes in the goal, I’m the having press conference you guys just had 40 seconds ago.”
But he wasn’t, as is often the case in the self-proclaimed greatest rivalry in the sport. Hopkins got the better of Maryland in eight of the last 10 meetings. Five of those victories came by a goal. Four came in overtime.
This one, perhaps more than any of the others, could have and maybe should have tilted to the No. 4 Terps (8-3).
It wasn’t so much the No. 3 Blue Jays (9-2) were unworthy on a cold College Park evening before announced crowd of 8,072. Chris Boland scored five goals. Kyle Wharton zipped in the winner from the right wing with 16 seconds remaining in overtime. Hopkins did as it so often does: mercilessly exploit vulnerabilities en route to victory.
Certainly, Maryland will rue squandering an 8-3 lead in the second half, but it also rallied from down 11-9 to force overtime. Once there, the Terps won the faceoff and their best feeder (Ryan Young) found their best finisher (Joe Cummings) in perfect position to complete a sweep of Virginia, Navy and Hopkins in successive weeks.
Only it clanked off the goal, a slightly imperfect placement at a highly imperfect time.
Therein lies the curious part of these senior-laden Terps, whose penchant for veering off script is fascinating. A team with a known quantity on attack received nine goals from the midfield. Uber-talented freshman goalie Niko Amato made a dozen saves, but two of his errant passes immediately led to Hopkins goals.
Cummings‘ emergence as a star could be considered both a mild surprise and a natural occurrence. The junior’s understated style of play always helped optimize players around him, and his skills as an attackman make him a dicey matchup in the midfield. Why he didn’t seem like a breakout candidate seems puzzling in retrospect.
A shot slightly off target doesn’t change that. A stinging loss to a rival doesn’t either, especially when the setback legitimately was nearly a win.
“We’re an inch away from that ball going in,” Maryland coach John Tillman said. “Joe Cummings, if you tell me anyone in the country can finish that ball, I got him. That’s the guy I want. And you know what? Down the road, we’ll put the ball back in his stick.”
Ultimately, down the road is the greater issue for Maryland, anyway. It hasn’t reached a final four since 2006 and the Terps’ 35-year national title drought isn’t going to be talked about less until it is resolved. Tillman, a smart man who is in his first season in College Park largely because predecessor Dave Cottle didn’t succeed in the postseason, is acutely aware of it all.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Patrick Stevens has covered Maryland and other Mid-Atlantic college sports for more than a decade. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- George Mason's defense dissipates in 84-74 loss to Northeastern
- Maryland's Pe'Shon Howard willing to let others put ball in the basket
- At 7-5, George Mason looks on the bright side entering CAA play
- Terps beat IUPUI, set for ACC after final tuneup
- Maryland's Jake Layman shows signs of progress in freshman season
Latest Blog Entries
By Mark Davis
The nation founders, the Lone Star State thrives
- Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's trial to test definitions of political corruption
- CURL: Obama, staffers not even pretending any more
- Rahm Emanuel: Send illegal immigrant shelter kids to Chicago
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- D.C. seeks stay in order striking down ban on handguns in public
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- HUSAIN: Fleeing Iraqi Christians find safe haven at the Shrine of Imam Ali
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Washington Times strikes content and marketing partnership with Redskins
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq