Live Blog: NCAA Semifinals: Duke-Maryland

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

After yet another illegal procedure on the faceoff, Duke goes back on defense. Maryland's Owen Bly puts one in after a stall warning was issued against Maryland. Defense hasn't really been the problem for the Blue Devils today. Wolf, Duke's second-leading scorer, has been totally absent today, and but for his one goal Howell hasn't had much of an impact, registering only two shots.

End of the 3rd: Duke 3, Maryland 6

Duke wasted a Wigrizer save with a silly turnover and Maryland regained possession. But after collecting a ground ball on a shot off the side of the cage, Duke got a chance to cut the lead to two. But yet another turnover means the Blue Devils will head into the fourth down three. After showing signs of life early in the quarter, Duke's momentum fell off. After the quarter ended, the officials issued a double penalty for some shoving after the whistle. There's enough bad blood between these two teams that nobody from either team is going to take the outcome for granted yet.

4:30 in the 3rd: Duke 3, Maryland 6

Maryland takes possession off the faceoff and is now taking its time in the offensive zone. After maintainging possession on a shot off the crossbar, the Terrapins put a shot on net that Wigrizer manages to save. The Blue Devil man-up unit gets off only one shot and does not manage to score. Grant Catalino drops one in on an unsettled opportunity to reignite the home crowd. I realize that it's not technically a home crowd, but effectively it is.

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

Following the man-down situation, Duke actually started to show a bit more fire. Maryland's Amato has been terrific between the pipes, and has negated any dangerous opportunities that the Duke attack has been able to generate. Down three goals with potentially only one half remaining in the season, the Blue Devils are going to have to execute on both ends if they hope to power past the Terrapins. Numerous times, Duke has simply looked sloppy in securing ground balls, and the Terrapins have taken advantage. After splitting four faceoffs in the first quarter, Maryland won four of five faceoffs in the second and turned those wins immediately into goal-scoring chances.

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

To be successful, Duke needs to be sharper on ground balls. Maryland holds a 14-9 edge in the statistic, and that hasn't even been inflated by faceoff numbers because several of their faceoff wins have come from Duke violations. Right now, the Terrapins are feeding off the crowd's energy to build momentum. Right now, the Blue Devils aren't winning the hustle battles at a rate that can win them this game.

10:38  in the 2nd: Duke 2, Maryland 4

Niko Amato finally lets in another goal, again on a mid-range bounce shot. Tucker Virtue provides the assist and Josh Offit finishes. But after another faceoff violation by  Duke, Curtis Holmes takes the ball from the faceoff X straight to the goal and scores less than five seconds after the Offit goal. Momentum swings back to the Terrapins.

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.

For more on the upcoming game you can check out the Blue Zone's full preview and keys to victory.


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