#8 Maryland Dominates #6 Duke to Advance

BALTIMORE - Senior Grant Catalino's scored three goals and the Terps' defense limited the No. 5 seed Duke Blue Devils to just four goals in Maryland's 9-4 victory in the semifinals of the NCAA men's lacrosse tournament Saturday evening at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Terps (13-4) advance to the championship game and will play another ACC rival as No. 7 Virginia upset No. 6 Denver, 14-8, in the first semifinal game. The Terps will be appearing in the NCAA title game for the first time since 1998, while the Cavaliers are making their first championship-game appearance since 2006. Maryland and Virginia will face-off at 3:30 p.m. on Memorial Day, May 28, at M&T Bank Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN and ESPN HD.

The Blue Devils (14-6) drew first blood less than a minute into the game when David Lawson scored to give Duke a 1-0 lead. Maryland tied the game at 1-1 on Catalino's first goal of the game. Senior Brian Farrell set a great pick near the top of the box and that allowed junior Joe Cummings to dodge down the middle and find Catalino on the left wing. Catalino didn't have much of an angle, but it didn't matter as he ripped the shot into the upper right corner of the goal with 7:12 to go in the first.

Photos are by Ben and James Mackey

The hard-hitting first quarter came to a close with some wild action. It started as the clock ticked down below 20 seconds. Cummings dodged down the right side, but he was stripped of the ball as he neared the crease. Three Duke defenders surrounded the ball, but sophomore Kevin Cooper was able to get in there and, in one motion, scoop it up and get it past Blue Devil goalie Dan Wigrizer to give the Terps their first lead of the game at 2-1.

Duke won the ensuing face-off and got off a quality shot by Zach Howell, but redshirt freshman Niko Amato made his fifth save of the quarter to keep Maryland ahead as the quarter ended. The second quarter was less than three minutes old when Lawson overplayed junior Drew Snider, which allowed Snider to roll back to the middle and get off a bounce shot from 12 yards that snuck inside the left pipe for a 3-1 Maryland lead.

The Blue Devils answered back at the 10:43 mark of the second when Josh Offit scored to make it a 3-2 Terrapin lead. But Duke committed a violation on the ensuing face-off, giving the Terps the ball. Sophomore Curtis Holmes picked up the ball and raced down the right alley. The Blue Devils didn't slide from their assignments, so Holmes let one rip and beat Wigrizer stick-side high to make it 4-2 for the Terps.

Maryland's lead increased to 5-2 with 4:30 to go thanks to a nifty two-man game with senior Ryan Young and Cummings. Young was matched-up with Duke short-stick Greg DeLuca behind the cage and DeLuca couldn't stay with him after multiple dodges. Young drew the slide from the crease, which allowed Cummings to sneak in behind the defense. Young found Cummings with a quick pass and Cummings scored easily.

Duke opened the third quarter with a Zach Howell goal at the 9:46 mark to make it a 5-3 game. Senior defender Max Schmidt was locked-up one-on-one with Howell and had good positioning, but Schmidt lost his footing, which allowed Howell a clean shot from eight yards out.

Maryland increased its lead to 6-3 on Catalino's second goal of the day at the 4:41 mark of the third, but the goal was just the cherry on top of the sundae of the play. The goal was made possible by a tough groundball and great 70-yard one-man clear by senior Dan Burns. Catalino finished the play with a terrific face-dodge around a defender before slipping a shot past Wigrizer.

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