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Terps outlast Brown in semifinal thriller

By: Taber Lucchese

Maryland was stuck in a battle but at they got the winning goal in overtime to get themselves back into Monday's national championship game.

Maryland was stuck in a battle but at they got the winning goal in overtime to get themselves back into Monday’s national championship game.

Maryland vs. Brown (NCAA Semifinals) Game Notes

The unspoken question on everyone’s mind is about to be answered: can this Maryland team finally win the National Championship?

You can see it in his bloodshot eyes – UMD Coach John Tillman has been tirelessly preparing and will remain sleepless until Memorial Day, when No. 1 Maryland will take on the unseeded Carolina Tar Heels to fight for the national title.

No. 1 Maryland tallied a 15-14 semifinal victory in overtime against No. 5 Brown, arguably their toughest competition thus far.

“That game could have gone either way,” Tillman said.

After an entire first half of back and forth one-goal differences with Maryland leading 9-8, the Terps went on a three-goal run in the third quarter to prop themselves up by four points. Maryland held that lead on and off again until late in the fourth, when Brown went on a scoring streak to tie it at 14 with 1:49 left in regulation.

“I thought they stole they stole the momentum back,” Tillman said. “I knew they’d make a little bit of a run for sure. We were hoping maybe we could hold them off. When you get six extra possessions on faceoffs, you’re that good of a team, they’re going to make a run for sure.”

Colin Heacock scored the game-winning goal in overtime to put the Terps past Brown.

Colin Heacock scored the game-winning goal in overtime to put the Terps past Brown.

Maryland had an opportunity to end it in regulation with less than 14 seconds left, but the timing and momentum just didn’t work in their favor, sending the two teams into overtime with both sidelines praying for possession directly off the face-off.

“When overtime came around we tried to erase all the prior events that happened, all the momentum, and said we’re going to get this ground ball,” defender Matt Dunn said.

Tillman could catch his breath for just a split second after Henningsen braved Brown’s unbelievable FOGO Will Gural, allowing the Terps to control possession off the FO and send it off to Bryan Cole and Connor Kelly down on attack. After Kelly and Cole worked some ball movement behind the cage, they saw a skip pass opportunity to Matt Rambo behind, who found Colin Heacock straight up the center and fed him the game-winning shot.

Heacock accredited his success to his best friend Rambo, but the feeder verbally cut him off and corrected him, setting the record that “Colin was just wide open and finished it for him there, for us.”

For a team that typically relies heavily on goalkeeper Kyle Bernlohr, it was refreshing to see the Terps perform more impressively defensively. Long-pole Matt Dunn scored an unreal 80-yard full field goal on Brown’s open cage. The defender also matched-up with Brown’s Dylan Molloy, who shocked not only the Terps but his own coaches as well when he decided to play Saturday’s game with his broken foot.

“He’s obviously a great player,” Dunn said. “So having him back in the lineup for them definitely posed different challenges for us and you could see throughout the game we definitely did.”

Although Molloy was obviously not playing to his upmost ability, Dunn held the top-scorer to a mere two goals, which is child’s play for the Tewaaraton-finalist who contributes four on a typical day.

The Terps’ offensive success was widespread, displaying an array of nine different scorers. Frontrunner Dylan Maltz scored a hat trick, followed by Heacock, Henry West, and Tim Rotanz who scored two goals a piece. Brown held Rambo to a single goal, but the offensive threat tallied four assists as he stepped aside for his fellow attackmen.

“[We] certainly feel like Matt [Rambo] and Colin [Heacock] are talented players, but we weren’t going to have one guy bring us home,” Tillman said. “I think if you’re that predictable where everything is going to be running through one guy, you’re not going to be that successful. This group is pretty selfless.

“I think if we have a chance to win on Monday, it’s going to have to be scoring from a lot of different guys.”

Maryland came out ruthless against Brown, but there’s a lot at stake here against the Tar Heels. Although the Terps haven’t won a national championship since 1974, this is Carolina’s first MDW appearance since 1993.

Tillman said about the challenge: “It’s a pretty special group and we’re going to do our very best to try to prep up and play an outstanding Carolina team on Monday.”

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Taber Lucchese

Staff Writer
A washed up high school athlete studying in the heartland of college lacrosse and living vicariously through her D1 friends. Growing up in a lacrosse-obsessed family in New York's hotbed, Taber received her first stick as a toddler, an all-pink plastic beauty with the Powerpuff Girls printed on the shaft. Soon after, she was criticized for her lack of a pocket by her male teammates, who all no doubt play college lacrosse today. After over a decade of shooting space and tight pockets, Taber picked up field hockey in high school to finally prove that she could be better at a sport than her D1-committed younger sister. Shockingly she was wrong, and now has accepted the fact that club sports are her destiny. Taber is currently pursuing a degree in Political Science with concentrations in Journalism and Italian Studies. Don't worry, she's not sure what she's doing either, but she's confident that she knows more about sports than you do.

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