Maryland Tops Duke, 11-9, For 2011 #ACCMLax Title

April 24, 2011

Box Score |  Photo Gallery 

DURHAM, N.C. – Maryland used patience on offense and excellence on faceoffs to rally past top-seeded Duke 11-9 on Sunday in the 2011 Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Lacrosse Championship at Koskinen Stadium.

The Terrapins (10-3) won their fourth ACC title and first since 2005. Third-seeded Maryland took a second consecutive comeback win. In Friday’s semifinals, the Terrapins trailed second-seeded North Carolina 6-2 heading into the fourth quarter before taking a 7-6 victory.

The Terrapins improved to 97-21 since 2002 when holding opponents under 10 goals.

Maryland - 2011 ACC Men's Lacrosse Champion

“I’m really happy for our players, our school and our alumni,” Maryland coach John Tillman said. “We knew it was going to be tough coming down here and winning on Duke’s home field. The guys just kept grinding and grinding, and we gutted it out.”

Tournament MVP Grant Catalino scored three goals to lead Maryland, while Kevin Cooper had two goals, and teammates Owen Blye and Ryan Young had two assists each. Maryland midfielder Curtis Holmes was dominant on faceoffs, winning 18 of 24, including 16 of his first 20.

“You win 18 of 24 faceoffs; that’s a big reason why we won,” Tillman said. “That guy is an absolute warrior.”

David Lawson and Zach Howell scored three goals each to lead Duke (11-5). Duke coach John Danowski said faceoffs were the difference in the game.

“We played defense well in long stretches, but it was too much defense,” Danowski said.

Maryland trailed 6-3 in the second quarter but took a 7-6 lead with four consecutive goals. Duke later came back to lead 8-7 in the third quarter. Travis Reed’s goal with three minutes left in the third gave Maryland a 9-8 lead, and the Terrapins would not trail again.

The rest of the all-tournament team included Duke’s Howell, Lawson, C.J. Costabile and goalie Dan Wigrizer; Maryland’s Cooper, Young, Holmes, Dan Burns, and Brett Schmidt and Ryan Young; and Virginia’s Colin Briggs.

This marks the second time in ACC history men’s and women’s programs from the same school have won the tournament title. Maryland’s women also won on Sunday in Cary, N.C. Virginia’s teams won both titles in 2006.

2011 ACC All-Tournament Team CJ Costabile, Duke Zach Howell, Duke David Lawson, Duke Dan Wigrizer, Duke Dan Burns, Maryland Grant Catalino, Maryland - MVP Kevin Cooper, Maryland Curtis Holmes, Maryland Brett Schmidt, Maryland Ryan Young, Maryland Colin Briggs, Virginia

Postgame Quotes

Duke head coach John Danowski

“I was really proud of our guys; it was a very tough tournament. We played Virginia on Friday night (in the) second game and it was extremely physical - a very hard fought game. Then you have to turn around about thirty six hours later and play a very talented, very skilled Maryland team. I was very proud of our guys for fighting and for play as hard as they played for as long as they played. I think this game will serve us really well down the line. I think we will grow and be a better team as a result of today. “

Duke senior attackman Zach Howell

On how do you put this aside? “It’s tough. We really need to evaluate all the things that we do. The main thing is getting back to work and knowing that we still are not a great team. We need to work harder, and we still need to improve in every facet of the game, not just the faceoff game. We still make mistakes on defense and on offense. We have a lot to look forward to and that’s what we will take away from this game.”

Maryland Head Coach John Tillman:

“Obviously, I am really happy for our school , our players and our alum. It’s a great win for our all of them against a really good team and we knew coming down here that winning two games would be really tough. Everybody is good and we knew we had our hands full to beat Duke, a number seed, on their home turf when they are a team that has beaten us before. I couldn’t be more proud of our guys. As always with us, it seems to be a struggle. We seem to make things kind of hard, but we seem to respond and get up when we get knocked down. The guys gutted it out and I think we learned some lessons along the way this year. Some things didn’t go our way and we didn’t handle it that well. I think that helped it this week is that when things didn’t go our way we just kept grinding. Make the next play; get the next groundball ; stay with each other; stay positive and have great belief and faith. These two guys [Curtis Holmes and Grant Catalino] are a big reason why. When you win 18 of 24 faceoffs you are going to have a chance to win any game. Grant has been our leader all year. He has had some ups and downs and at times he gets marked so much that it limits his opportunities, but he is such a selfless guy that he is willing to be a decoy or do other things to let some other guys score. He doesn’t care; he always does it with a smile on his face because he wants the team to win.”

On turning it around after being down: “We took a timeout and just told everybody to take a deep breath and relax. It was seven minutes into it. It was basically an eighth of the game. We were down four goals and we knew there were a lot of possessions and a lot of game left to play. We just kept grinding away and grinding away. I think Brett Schmidt came down and got us a huge goal. It seemed like when we had some problems a senior was making a little play here and there to help us, like Schmidt or Catalino. That is what we really thought we would rely on. We were hoping some of the younger guys would help, but the seniors – their leadership, their will and determination – we thought they would big benefits for us today and they certainly did a great job.”

Maryland senior attackman Grant Catalino

On the emotions of the field playing a part in the game: “I think we definitely used it as motivation for us on the field. Coach Moran (Assistant Coach) always says that it’s a battle of emotion. We use it as inspiration, but we can never get too high or too low. I think we have shown that these past three days. If we are down we can’t get too down and if we are up we can’t get too high. We just have to stay on this level of playing until the clock ticks zero.”

Maryland sophomore defender Curtis Holmes

On beating teams in the tournament that beat them during regular season: “It obviously feels good to get those wins back. It hurts when you lose. You move on, but you don’t forget about it. You hold that in the back of your mind when you are playing and you use that to elevate your game and get that win.”