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UMD and JHU headed for Final Four clash

By: Charlie Wright

Johns Hopkins beat Maryland earlier in the year, 15-12.

Johns Hopkins beat Maryland earlier in the year, 15-12.

It all happened so fast. A one-goal lead heading into the fourth quarter quickly became a five-goal deficit, and it was all over for Maryland.

The first meeting with Johns Hopkins (11-6) didn’t go the Terps’ (14-3) way, but they will get another shot at the Blue Jays in the Final Four of the NCAA tournament this Saturday. at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

The Terps had been scuffling coming into the tournament, following up the loss to Hopkins with a loss to Ohio State in the Big Ten tournament. But they seem to be back on track, managing a narrow victory over Yale in the first round and then exploding for season-high 14 goals against North Carolina in a blowout.

“You want to build on that confidence … but realize every week is its own entity,” Maryland head coach John Tillman said.

The Terps scored five of the first six goals in their quarterfinal matchup with the Tar Heels. They were up 9-2 at the half, and stretched the lead to 10 goals at one point in the second half. Charlie Raffa went 12-19 from the faceoff X, and the starters committed just three turnovers.

“If you watch us play, when we’ve been clean offensively … and on faceoffs we’ve scored more goals,” Tillman said.

The rematch with Hopkins on Saturday will be the next chapter in this historic rivalry. The Blue Jays lead the series 70-49-1, and have won 15 of the last 21 meetings. The neutral site should benefit the Terps, as Hopkins has won six-straight at Byrd Stadium. Attackman Ryan Brown led the way with eight goals in their most recent meeting, but eight different players registered points for the Blue Jays.

“That roster is one of the deepest in the country,” Tillman said.

The matchup will pit Maryland’s top scoring defense (6.65 gpg) against a Hopkins offense that is ninth in the country in scoring (13.12 gpg). The 15 goals allowed by the Terps in their last meeting was a season-high, and the Maryland defenders will have their hands full against a diverse offense.

“They (JHU) did a great job in terms of goal output [last game], so we have to look at film and see if we can limit goal total,” Tillman said.

The Maryland offense may have found its stride after the game against North Carolina, in which eight different Terps scored a goal. Spreading the wealth has been a focal point for the Terps all year.

“We realized with this group we have to work hard for each other,” Tillman said. “One guy isn’t going to carry this team.”

The winner of this matchup will take on either Denver or Syracuse in the National Championship on Monday.

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Charlie Wright

Staff Writer
Charlie is a lifelong sports fan who grew up cheering for hometown teams. He developed a passion for writing in high school and chose to pursue the profession in college. Charlie followed most of his family to the University of Maryland, where he is pursuing a degree in journalism. He plans to enter the sports journalism field after graduation, hopefully covering a local team.

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