COLLEGE PARK – The Maryland men’s lacrosse team is still trying to play a complete 60 minutes of lacrosse.
The 9th-ranked Maryland Terrapins (9-4) defeated the Bellarmine Knights (4-8) 12-7 on Saturday afternoon in College Park, despite the fact that the Terps didn’t score for nearly 20 minutes between the third and fourth quarters,
“We were a little flat at times. They [Bellarmine] were playing with a little bit more sense of urgency than we were. And that is concerning. We kind of fell into the trap of, ‘This game is slow,’ so we started to let our guard down,” Maryland head coach John Tillman said.
Fortunately, the Terps didn’t need to be at the top of their game for all four quarters.
The Terps built a commanding 10-2 lead after senior attack Joe Cummings scored in transition with 9:24 left in the third quarter.
For the game, Cummings tied a career high with six points (4 goals, 2 assists).
But Tillman was more impressed with the captain’s leadership.
“When things weren’t going the way we wanted or we got a little anxious or getting a little impatient, I thought Joe settled us down. He was well aware of where we were in the game, made sure we got everybody organized,” Tillman said.
When Maryland was in control, they picked up many more ground balls than Bellarmine, a focus for Tillman’s team.
However, once the team led by eight goals, they eased up and allowed Bellarmine to storm back.
The Knights scored four goals in a row including the only man-up goal by either team.
After Bellarmine rallied to make it a 10-6 game, Maryland senior midfielder Michael Shakespeare scored on a jump shot with 5:30 left to go.
Cummings capped off the scoring three minutes later as he curled around the goal and finished unassisted to put the game out of reach.
For the second straight game, shooting was key.
In the ACC Semifinal loss to Duke last week, the Terps scored on 16 percent of their shots in a 6-5 loss. On Saturday, the Terps shot better than 36 percent for the second straight game. Against Mount St. Mary’s on Wednesday night, Maryland connected on 41 percent of their shots.
In every win this season, except against Navy, Maryland shot better than 30 percent. Since 2005, the Terrapins are 53-3 in games when they shoot better than 30 percent.
Playing their third game in eight days, the Terps overcame tired legs and a furious comeback attempt by the Knights.
Cummings said the work load was starting to take a toll on some of the guys.
“Having a little break here going into Colgate will be good for them, especially as we enter into May,” he said.