Final: Duke 4, Maryland 9
Thus ends the Blue Devils’ season.
0:30 in the 4th: Duke 4, Maryland 9
A huge portion of the crowd is headed for the exits after a Maryland timeout. To finish my thought from the previous post, the primary difference between the basketball team’s season-ending loss and this one is that this team’s key players, with a few notable exceptions, are much younger than the basketball team’s were. The starting attack featured two freshmen and a senior. The defensive unit started a freshman and a sophomore. The starting midfield had no starting seniors. While the basketball team loses three-fifths of its starting lineup this offseason, the majority of these Blue Devils will be back.
A couple of goals in garbage time have upped the score for both teams, but this was primarily a defensive struggle. Unfortunately for the Blue Devils, poor offensive execution and failures on faceoffs meant that their defense had to do most of the struggling.
4:33 in the 4th: Duke 3, Maryland 8
There’s time left, but I’m just about ready to call this one over. Duke has not shown anything offensively today to suggest that it is capable of scoring five more goals—even if it won all the faceoffs. This game bears striking similarities to the basketball team’s season-ending loss to Arizona. In both games, Duke, the defending champion, went into a hostile environment and played well enough early to be up by a substantial margin. In both games, a spectacular individual performance kept the opponent in the game until it could stage a run. In both games, that run ignited the crowd and led to an onslaught as a normally potent Blue Devil offense went missing. If you watched Duke-Arizona, you watched this game.
10:47 in the 4th: Duke 3, Maryland 7
End of the 3rd: Duke 3, Maryland 6
4:30 in the 3rd: Duke 3, Maryland 6
9:46 in the 3rd: Duke 3, Maryland 5
After Maryland tosses the ball out of the box while under stall warning, the Blue Devils take over, desperately looking for something to break Maryland’s stranglehold on the game. Finally, they do, as Zach Howell, Duke’s leader in goals and points, buries one in the back of the net
11:51 in the 3rd: Duke 2, Maryland 5
Charlie Payton takes, and wins, the opening faceoff after Greg DeLuca and Brendan Fowler combined to go 3-for-9 at the X in the first half. This possession will be crucial for the Blue Devils. After Rotanz corrals a looseball following a bad pass, he misses a wide open Christian Walsh in front of the net on an unsettled play. That’s certainly a play they’d like to have back. Now Maryland has the ball once again and is running their offense.
HALFTIME: Duke 2, Maryland 5
2:15 in the 2nd: Duke 2, Maryland 5
After a Duke timeout, Maryland’s Joe Cummings scores from near point-blank range. Holmes wins the ensuing faceoff. For Duke fans, this game is quickly turning into a nightmare. Maryland has all the momentum and the Blue Devils aren’t showing much fire on the same field where they won the national championship less than a year ago. The Blue Devils kill off a man-down situation and get possession again. Maybe that will spark something.
4:45 in the 2nd: Duke 2, Maryland 4
10:38 in the 2nd: Duke 2, Maryland 4
12:45 in the 2nd: Duke 1, Maryland 3
After Maryland wins the opening faceoff, Zach Howell’s pressure in the Terrapins defensive zone gives Duke possession, but the Blue Devils are unable to convert on the unsettled opportunity. Niko Amato has been on fire this game since giving up a goal in the opening minute. On the other side of the field, Wigrizer lets up his third goal of the past 10 minutes. The Maryland fans are definitely getting louder as their team builds a lead
End of the 1st: Duke 1, Maryland 2
After losing the opening faceoff, Maryland’s Curtis Holmes picks up where he left off against Duke in the last game, winning two straight faceoffs. After a bit of back-and-forth action and near misses by both teams, Duke once again has possession. This game has slowed down considerably, and Maryland will probably be happy to keep this pace despite the fact that Duke seems to be dominating time of possession. Still, a spectacular goal by Maryland’s Kevin Cooper has put the Terrapins up in the only stat that matters: goals.
7:12 in the 1st: Duke 1, Maryland 1
Duke loses the ensuing faceoff on a procedural penalty, but the defense comes up with a stop and the Blue Devils reset in the offensive zone. This game has become very physical, very quickly. One scrum leads into another and eventually Duke gets possession on a loose-ball push called against Maryland. Also of note, we’re getting word that Duke basketball star Nolan Smith, a Maryland native, is in attendance today. Maryland goalie Niko Amato has put the team on his back and made a series of spectacular saves to keep the Terrapins in the game. Maryland eventually takes advantage on offense with a Grant Catalino laser.
14:06 in the 1st: Duke 1, Maryland 0
David Lawson scores the first goal of the game on a bounce-shot off an assist by Robert Rotanz after Greg DeLuca took (and won) the first faceoff of the game.
While waiting for the game to start, the officials get someone to take a commemorative photo of them lined up at midfield. Both teams have now taken the field—the Blue Devils in white jerseys and shorts, the Terrapins in red jerseys with black shorts. Maryland head coach John Tillman leads his team out of the tunnel at a run, holding a Maryland state flag aloft. The stage is set, and the lights have come on at M&T Bank Stadium. It’s game time.
As Duke takes the field for warmups, there are definitely more boos than cheers—not particularly loud—but there’s pretty audible support for Maryland when its players jog out. Most of the Virginia and Denver fans have vacated their seats. It will be interesting to see who fills them. So far, I’m seeing a lot more red shirts than blue shirts as the fans file in. Ironically, the Terrapins have been designated as the visiting team because of the NCAA Tournament seeding.
Welcome to the Blue Zone’s Live Blog of today’s game between the fifth-seeded Blue Devils and the unseeded Terrapins! I’ll be coming to you live from the the beautiful press room at M & T Bank Stadium, home of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens. The early game between seventh-seeded Virginia and sixth-seeded Denver is pretty much decided, as the Cavaliers lead by seven goals with under five minutes to play. That will set up an all-ACC championship game between Virginia and the winner of Duke-Maryland. These teams met twice earlier in the season, with the Blue Devils winning the first in OT to turn their season around and the Terrapins winning the ACC championship game in a match they probably needed to win to get to the NCAA Tournament.