Maryland manhandles Duke to reach NCAA lacrosse championship game
The explosive Duke offense couldn’t produce when it mattered. Its swarming defense evaporated as a steamy New England afternoon gave way to evening. And Maryland couldn’t stop scoring.
“Sometimes things go your way,” Tillman said. “You have one of those days, and that’s part of it. I do think our guys seized the moment.”
That’s one way to describe Maryland’s 16-10 evisceration of third-seeded Duke in the NCAA tournament semifinals before 31,774 at Gillette Stadium. The Terps made 16 of 29 shots en route to their second straight appearance in the national title game. They’ll face top-seeded Loyola (17-1) in Monday’s title game.
“If you can shoot that kind of percentage, you have a pretty good shot at it,” long pole Jesse Bernhardt said in a bit of an understatement.
The senior, who matched a career high for goals, had plenty of company from teammates enjoying their finest days in some time. Kevin Cooper doubled his career-best with four assists. Owen Blye had only his fourth career hat trick.
Then there was freshman Kevin Forster, who had one point all season and it came in the Feb. 18 opener. He had two goals and an assist against Duke.
For their part, the Blue Devils (15-5) lost to Maryland in the semifinals for the second consecutive season.
“They were better than us today,” Duke long pole CJ Costabile said. “They played all parts of the game offensively. Defensively, we couldn’t stop them.”
It was a glaring no-show for the Blue Devils, particularly a little more than a month after limiting Maryland to just five goals in an ACC semifinal victory. Duke blazed through much of April with a suffocating defense that at times seemed to have eight men on the field rather than six.
There were no such illusions Saturday. The Terps scored the first three goals. When Duke closed within 4-3, Maryland scored two more.
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