Much to Duke’s dismay, this year’s NCAA tournament semifinal is looking eerily similar to last year’s thus far.
At the half, the No. 3 seeded Blue Devils (15-4) trail unseeded Maryland (11-5) 7-4 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Six different scorers have tallied goals thus far for the Terrapins, who have controlled possession and the pace of the game for the first two quarters.
The Blue Devils were unable to create opportunities in transition in the first half, falling into the Terrapins slow pace. Maryland’s patience paid off in its shot selection, scoring seven goals on just 12 shots.
Ball movement was a struggle for Duke as the Terrapins clamped down on the defensive end. Just one of the Blue Devils’ four goals was assisted, while Maryland players recorded assists on six of the Terrapins’ seven goals.
Duke placed a high emphasis on faceoffs coming into this week’s matchup, and despite winning 7 of 12 draws, have struggled to maintain possession. Two of the Blue Devils’ four goals came off successful draws, but Duke has struggled to create offense otherwise. Stringing together goals has been one of Duke’s strengths throughout the season, but the Terrapins have been successful in keeping the Blue Devil offense out of its rhythm.
Duke will begin the second half with the man advantage after Maryland committed a one-minute penalty with 1.5 seconds remaining in the second quarter.