Fear The Turtle!

The #10 ranked Maryland Terrapins traveled north along I-95 to visit their in-state rivals, the #3 ranked Blue Jays of Johns Hopkins. In front of a sold out crowd at Homewood Field, the Terps trailed 5 – 3 at halftime and 6 – 3 0:54 seconds into the third quarter.

Yet somehow Maryland managed to do what they had not done all season: play defense for all four quarters of the game.

Maryland has three losses on the season and in those three losses, the Terps have given up an average of 5 goals in the fourth quarter alone.

Today would be different.

Maryland clamped down on the potent Hopkins’ offense and held the Blue Jays without a goal the remainder of the game.

The play of the game was made when the Terps were leading 7 – 6 with roughly 5:00 left in the game. After the officials issued a stall warning against Hopkins, the Blue Jays had a brain cramp and brought the ball out of the offensive box, resulting in the ball being given to Maryland.

What happened next is one of the reasons we love lacrosse.

While the Hopkins’ players whined and complained to the referees, Maryland’s Owen Blye secured the ball and raced downfield to beat Hopkins’ goalie Pierce Bassett to make the score 8 – 6 Maryland.

Lacrosse is the only sport we know of where if you want to yell at the officials, get in their faces, or complain to them, that is fine – the game will go on without you. When the whistle blew and Blye took off, Hopkins’ defenders were left trying to catch up because they had been yacking at the referees.

If you are a fan of high scoring lacrosse, this was not a game for you. This was a game played at a high level with great defenses limiting the offenses. If you wanted to compare it to a baseball game, this was a pitchers’ duel.

Maryland needed this game. Four losses would have been tough to make it into the NCAA tournament. Maryland has lost games they should have won and were in position to win, but gave it away at the end.

But not today. Not this game.

When the clock hit 00:00, the final tally was Maryland 9, Hopkins 6.

Next up Maryland heads to the home of the University of Virginia for the ACC Tournament starting this Friday when the Terps meet up with another rival, the Duke Blue Devils.

The entire tournament is on the ESPN family of networks, so if you are a lacrosse fan (you are a fan now, aren’t you?) you will see a lot of good lacrosse next weekend.

Fear the Turtle!

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