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“There were times during the year when the ball would die,” Tillman said. “Today, they slid a little more than we expected and as soon as the guys would slide, we shared it and were unselfish enough to trust our teammates and bang it and let somebody else make the play.”

Maryland hadn’t scored 16 goals since March 10. It hadn’t scored so many goals in a postseason game since 2006. It hadn’t shredded Duke’s defense so thoroughly since 2004. And it hadn’t authored such a potent offensive performance on the sport’s biggest stage since the 1998 semifinals.

“Right now, we’re figuring each other out,” Cummings said.

It’s a welcome development for a Maryland bunch defined for most of the season by its predictably erratic play. Two steps forward, one step back, over and over again.

Now the Terps are back where they started on the first weekend of February, when they scrimmaged Loyola at a time no one would have guessed either team would play on the season’s final day.

“It seems like a year ago, maybe years. We still remember we lost to them,” Snider said. “I know it’s a scrimmage, but we want to win. We lost Jake [Bernhardt to injury] then and it took a toll on us mentally, I think, throughout that scrimmage. We’ve come a long way from that preseason scrimmage.”

That’s understood easily enough. But trying to figure out why Maryland played with such ferocious efficiency while the Duke defense simultaneously came up so small? Good luck with that.

“I thought our guys backed down at times,” Danowski said.

Accordingly, Maryland will be back on Memorial Day, the benefactor of a different script than last year’s semifinal Saturday but with a result to savor nonetheless.