- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 12, 2009

BALTIMORE | The self-proclaimed greatest rivalry in college lacrosse added another chapter to its lore Saturday.

Johns Hopkins goalie Michael Gvozden stuffed Maryland attackman Grant Catalino's acrobatic shot as time expired, lifting the No. 9 Blue Jays to a 10-9 victory at M&T Bank Stadium.

It was one of the few crucial junctures of the second half not accompanied by a penalty flag - a common development that proved especially costly for the No. 13 Terrapins, who were called for nine infractions after halftime.

Interestingly, one of the four second-half penalties on Hopkins helped determine the course of events - and perhaps ignited the sort of surge the Blue Jays (5-4) have enjoyed the past two seasons. Faceoff man Matt Dolente was whistled for an illegal body check, temporarily raising the ire of coach Dave Pietramala.

“He looked at me and said, 'You told us we don't back down today. No matter what, we don't back down,' ” Pietramala said. “I looked at him and said, 'I apologize. You're right, we don't back down.' ”

No one seemed interested in such a course of action on either side. The Terps (6-5) played without attackman Will Yeatman (sprained ankle) but still demonstrated the sort of offensive balance missing when they've struggled this season.

Midfielder Dan Groot had three goals and Jeremy Sieverts added two for Maryland, which was done in by its penchant for penalties - both blatant and unexplainable. Of Hopkins' last four goals, two were man-up, another was five-on-five and the last came just after the Terps got a man back from a penalty.

The nature of each infraction was strange. Despite an unsportsmanlike conduct call on attackman Travis Reed, Maryland retained possession after the whistle. Coach Dave Cottle said another procedure penalty was called when an assistant coach picked up a ball rolling out of bounds, and soon after Cottle was zapped for an unsportsmanlike call of his own.

“I have no idea what happened there,” he said. “I've been coaching 30 years, and I've never gotten a minute penalty in my life. I got one for saying, 'No one knows the call.' There were no curse words. It was loud and nobody could hear the call. He said he gave me one for 'no one knows the call.' That's the first one I've ever gotten one in 30 years, and I would have liked to have cursed in order to get one.”

The chaos was supplemented with a thrilling finish. Hopkins held a 10-8 lead and tried to bleed the clock for much of the fourth quarter, relying heavily on a rejuvenated Gvozden to turn back the Terps.

He couldn't prevent Groot from scoring with 26 seconds remaining, giving Maryland a chance to make things interesting. After Bryn Holmes went early on the faceoff, Hopkins quickly turned it over by going in and out of the offensive box.

The Terps' chance to tie came in the closing seconds when attackman Ryan Young came around the cage and slipped a pass to Catalino in front of the goal. Catalino swooped down to collect the feed, then tried to connect from an awkward angle before Gvozden (12 saves) got his right leg in the way at point-blank range to preserve Hopkins' seventh win in the rivalry's past eight games.

“That was weird,” Gvozden said. “The guy caught it real low to the ground, and instead of shooting it low, he kind of picked it back up and got it high. I just tried to throw my body in front of it because I knew it was a pretty tough shot.”

Maryland was left with its third straight setback - a pair of one-goal losses to Virginia and Hopkins sandwiched around an ugly loss at Navy. But like the Blue Jays, the Terps left with the belief that the close encounter will make a difference as the final three weeks of the regular season unfold.

“This is the beginning for our team,” Cottle said. “You watch from here on in: This team is going to start to play better.”

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