- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Maryland lacrosse team might have become a little comfortable as the nation’s No. 1 team.

It’s a burden the Terrapins won’t have to handle for much longer.

Unranked Bucknell shocked the Terps 7-6 last night before 1,052 at Maryland’s Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex, a stunning result for a team that opened the season with three wins against NCAA tournament teams from a year ago.

“Being No. 1, we were definitely content with that,” junior goalie Harry Alford said. “We got too lax about it. I guess we couldn’t finish today. We couldn’t beat their 10-man ride. They were all over the place.”

Freshman Joe Mele scored with seven seconds left in the second overtime to lift the Bison (2-3).

“We don’t get to play the No. 1 ranked team in the country too often,” Bucknell coach Frank Fedorjaka said.

“Our university has not beaten a No. 1 team ever, and when we beat No. 2 Navy last year we made history. We kind of rewrote history again today.”

The Terps (3-1) trailed for nearly the entire game and entered the fourth quarter down 6- 3. However, a three-goal spurt capped by Xander Ritz’s score with 4:40 left helped Maryland force overtime.

Still, the Terps had opportunities to close it out in regulation, only to be stuffed by Bucknell goalie Matt Baran (14 saves).

Maryland held a 14-1 shooting edge in the fourth quarter but wound up an abysmal 6-for-37 overall.

The Terps were nothing like the team that ripped Georgetown to open the season or the squad that upset then-No. 1 Duke in overtime March 4. Instead, Maryland committed 25 turnovers and played tighter as the game progressed against the inexperienced Bison, who were content to hold the ball for long stretches to shorten the game.

“We haven’t practiced well since the Duke game, and unfortunately, maybe we needed a loss to recognize that,” Maryland coach Dave Cottle said. “We didn’t handle success as well as we would have liked.”

The Terps could do little but agree with the assessment, and they will surely tumble when next week’s polls are released. For now, Maryland hopes to avoid a repeat of last year, when a loss to unranked Dartmouth precipitated a 1-4 slide.

“I think we weren’t ready for them and took them lightly,” attackman Joe Walters said. “There’s not much more. We’re not executing on offense like we should be. At the same time, it’s early in the season. We can’t doubt ourselves at this point. We’re fine.”

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