- Army’s ‘Most Wanted’ fugitive on lam since 1977 nabbed in Florida
- ‘Seinfeld’-loving fraudsters busted on ID theft — of Eric Holder
- Spain, Morocco break up jihadist recruitment cell, arrest 7
- Muslim insurgents shoot then set on fire Buddhist teacher in Thailand
- Air Force cadets ‘revolt’ after officials remove biblical verse from whiteboard
- Rep. Lee: Paul Ryan out of touch with urban Americans
- House votes down resolution to force Issa to apologize
- Kremlin blocks opposition websites; Kasparov fears Putin plans ‘something drastic’
- Saving trees? EPA wastes $1.5 million storing unneeded pamphlets in warehouse
- Scott Brown Senate bid in New Hampshire may launch soon
Cavs trip up Terps’ march to lacrosse title
Maryland falls short in 9-7 loss to Virginia
BALTIMORE — Legions of Maryland’s loyal college lacrosse subjects made the quick trip here to the sport’s capital Monday hoping to witness a coronation 36 years in the making. It had been that long since the Terrapins’ last national championship, and there were reasons to think this was their day to reclaim the crown.
Attackman Matt White, however, scored two fourth-quarter goals to spoil Maryland’s party and return Virginia to the throne. The Cavaliers overcame a scoreless first quarter and extended Maryland’s title drought by surviving a late rally in a 9-7 victory in front of 35,661 fans at M&T Bank Stadium.
“It’s a dream come true,” sophomore Nick O’Reilly said. “We were those kids in the stands hoping one day that we’d be playing [for the championship].”
Virginia won its fifth national title and first since 2006. That the Cavaliers finished on top was a testament to their collective resilience after several turbulent moments over the past few years.
As they celebrated their title in front of their supporters seated in the first few rows, it was impossible not to consider the hurdles they faced on their journey to the sport’s pinnacle.
Former team captain Will Barrow committed suicide in the fall of 2008 while he was completing his degree after his lacrosse eligibility expired. Then last May, midfielder George Huguely was charged with killing Virginia women’s lacrosse player Yeardley Love.
There was adversity on the field, too. Virginia dismissed two-time first-team all-American midfielder Shamel Bratton from the squad in April for repeatedly violating team rules. His brother, Rhamel, a second-team all-American, also was suspended indefinitely.
The Cavaliers lost four out of five games earlier this season and entered the NCAA tournament as the seventh seed, their lowest since 2001.
All of that became prologue to a convincing victory Monday afternoon. Sitting next to the championship trophy afterward, Virginia coach Dom Starsia said the victory “suspends belief.”
“This moment is particularly gratifying when you consider all that we had to endure to put ourselves in a position to be able to do this,” he said.
Cavaliers midfielder Colin Briggs added five goals after being suspended for Saturday’s semifinal victory over Denver. Virginia scored five times in the second quarter to overcome its slow start, and Maryland failed to convert a handful of glorious scoring opportunities.
The Terrapins finished one victory from becoming the first unseeded team to win the NCAA tournament. They beat top-ranked Syracuse earlier in the tournament, but first-year coach John Tillman couldn’t prevent Maryland from falling to 0-6 in championship games since 1975.
“A very fitting champion,” Tillman said, “showing that when a group sticks together, they can do just about anything.”
The party here was well under way by late morning as thousands relocated their Memorial Day cookouts to the parking lots surrounding the stadium. The scene easily could have been mistaken for a fall football tailgate if it weren’t for the oppressive heat.
Rock music blared from car speakers, and fans gathered around grills as part of the pregame revelry. Kids of all ages toted their lacrosse sticks, as is their custom at most lacrosse matches.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- REDSKINS 2013: Breaking down the schedule, game by game
- NFL 2013: Ranking all 32 teams in terms of staying power
- REDSKINS 2013: Washington seeks staying power among NFL's elite
- With no blueprint, Redskin Hankerson seeks success as dad
- Redskins receiver Leonard Hankerson learning to manage family life with football career
Latest Blog Entries
By Bob Dole
The industrious island has proved itself worthy of U.S. inclusion
- F-35 secrets now showing up in Chinas stealth fighter
- EXCLUSIVE: FBI blocked in corruption probe involving Sens. Reid, Lee
- U.S.: Malaysia plane's on-board communications purposely shut down
- USS Kidd sent to Indian Ocean after 'indication' of Malaysian jet crash
- Oil rig worker says he saw missing plane go down: report
- EDITORIAL: Lois Lerner's dilemma
- PRUDEN: Sink sank own campaign in Florida special election
- Justice Department refuses info on hundreds of prosecutor misconduct cases
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- College group's diversity event canceled after excluding white people
Chaos as Manhattan building explodes
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again