Terrapins football begins new era in Big Ten

By Andrew Koch

Maryland Head Coach Randy Edsall and his staff have finalized their roster, and the Terrapins have broken camp as they get ready for their first season in the Big Ten Conference.

After announcing in 2012 that it would be leaving the Atlantic Coast Conference after helping create the conference in 1953, the University was sued by the conference for the exit fee of $52.3 million. That exit fee had been raised twice within the previous year. According to ESPN, the fee was first increased to $20 million in 2011, after Syracuse and Pittsburgh joined the conference, and then up to $52.3 million the following year, when the University of Notre Dame announced that it would join the ACC in all sports except football.

Two months later, when Maryland announced that it was going to join the Big Ten, the ACC responded by withholding Maryland’s share of the conference’s TV and bowl revenue. Maryland filed suit, calling the move “an illegal penalty.” After being sued for the exit fee, the University filed a $157 million countersuit against the conference. In the suit, the school claimed that the ACC tried to recruit a pair of Big Ten schools to join after Maryland announced it was leaving. In a settlement that was reached on Aug. 8, the ACC will be allowed to keep the $31.4 million in TV and bowl revenue, and Maryland won’t owe the conference any additional money.

With all the legal wrangling in the background now in the rear-view mirror, the Terrapins football team focused on preparing for a new season and a new conference. Maryland went 7-6 in 2013, its final season in the ACC, including a 3-5 record in conference games. In training camp, much of the competition was on the offensive side of the ball. According to Matt Bertram of the Athletic Department’s Media Relations Office, this year’s training camp saw a wide-open competition at tight end. That position will have a young group, with the most experienced of the five on this year’s roster being sophomores Andrew Isaacs, Brian McMahon and P.J. Gallo. The other two tight ends on the roster are redshirt freshmen Eric Roca of Puerto Rico and Derrick Hayward of Wicomico High School in Salisbury. At running back, four players were competing for two spots to get regular playing time. However, one of those running backs, Jacquille Veii, has been converted into a wide receiver, and will be lining up in the slot.

The defense will be anchored by senior Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil (Towson High School) and Sophomore Yannick Ngakoue at linebacker. Cudjoe-Virgil had 18 total tackles, three sacks, 3.5 tackles for loss and an interception in six games as a redshirt junior last year. Ngakoue added 10 total tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and two sacks. The pass rush will be led by defensive end Andre Monroe, who led the team with 9.5 sacks, good for a tie for sixth in the ACC. Monroe set career highs in total and solo tackles in a game (10 total, seven solo in Maryland’s loss to Marshall in the Military Bowl), sacks and tackles for loss (three sacks, and 3.5 tackles-for-loss in an overtime win at Virginia Tech).

Maryland will open the season on Aug. 30 in College Park against James Madison. The non-conference schedule will include games at South Florida, home against West Virginia, and at Syracuse. The Terps will play their first Big Ten game on Sept. 27 at Indiana. The following week, they’ll play their first Big Ten home game against fifth-ranked Ohio State in the Buckeyes’ second visit to Maryland.

Following their bye week, Maryland will host Iowa on Oct. 18, and then travel to number 14 Wisconsin. The Terrapins will play at Penn State on Nov. 1, and after another week off, will have a night game at home against Michigan State. Maryland will wrap up the season with games at Michigan on Nov. 22, followed by the regular season finale at home against fellow Big Ten newcomer Rutgers on Nov. 29 during Thanksgiving weekend.

Maryland to Face ACC Rival Virginia in College World Series Super Regionals

By Andrew R. Koch

Maryland’s baseball season won’t be complete without at least two more games against a soon-to-be former ACC rival.

The Terrapins’ magical season continued by completing a three-game sweep of the Columbia Regional at the University of South Carolina. Maryland defeated 12-seed and host South Carolina 10-1 on June 1 to become the regional champions and advance to the Super Regional round for the first time in team history. In addition, it was the first time the Gamecocks had been eliminated from a regional at home since 1976.

Terrapins shortstop Blake Schmit went two for three and drove in three runs, and center fielder and leadoff hitter Charlie White went three for four with an RBI. Schmit hit a two-run single in the fourth inning that Maryland up for good, 2-1. The Terrapins scored two runs in the sixth to take a commanding 5-1 lead, and then put the game out of reach by scoring four runs in the ninth.

In addition to timely hitting, Maryland’s relief pitching was also a major factor. Taylor Stiles came on in relief of starter Jake Drossner with runners on the corners and two outs in the bottom of the fourth. Stiles got Gamecocks shortstop Marcus Mooney to fly out to center to end that rally. In the bottom of the sixth, Bobby Ruse came on with runners on the corners and two outs again, and got Mooney to fly out to right. Ruse pitched the rest of the way, allowing just a hit while striking out three in three and a third innings, including a three-up, three-down bottom of the ninth, to record the save. Stiles got the win with two innings of three-hit shutout relief.

Maryland will be at Virginia for the Charlottesville Super Regional, which will be a best-of-three series at Davenport Stadium from June 7 through June 9. Games one and two will be on June 7 and 8 at noon both days. Game three, if necessary, will be on June 9 at 4 p.m. Every game of the series will be televised on ESPN2. The winner of the series will advance to the College World Series at TD Ameritrade Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska, starting on June 14.

Local Lacrosse Roundup: Maryland Hosting Cornell in NCAA First Round For Second Straight Year

In its final season in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Maryland men’s lacrosse team tied with Duke for the best conference record at 4-1. The Terps went 11-3 overall, and finished the season ranked ninth by Lacrosse Magazine. Maryland lost in the ACC semifinals 6-5 to ninth-ranked Notre Dame in Chester, Pennsylvania on April 25. The Terps received a seventh seed for the NCAA tournament, and will play Cornell in the first round at 5 p.m. on May 10 in College Park.

Maryland was led this season by senior midfielder Mike Chanenchuk, who had 28 goals and 16 assists. Senior goalie Niko Amato had a 7.19 goals against average, which was fourth-best in the country. He was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year. Connor Cannizzaro scored 20 goals and added 6 assists in his rookie season, and was named ACC Freshman of the Year. Head Coach John Tillman was named Coach of the Year. The Terps outscored their opponents 163-97 this season, and went 3-1 against their local opponents: Mount St. Marys (won 16-3 on February 8), Maryland-Baltimore County (won 14-3 on February 15), Johns Hopkins (lost 11-6 on April 12), and Navy (won 12-8 on April 19).

Johns Hopkins went 10-4 on the season, including 4-1 against its in-state opponents (Towson, Maryland, Loyola, UMBC and Navy.) The Blue Jays received an at-large bid to make the NCAA Tournament for a record 42nd time, and will play at eighth-seeded Virginia on May 11. Their first-round matchup will be a rematch of a game they played in Charlottesville on March 22, when the Blue Jays lost to the Cavaliers 11-10 in overtime.

The Loyola Greyhounds lost to Virginia 14-13 in their season opener on February 6. They haven’t lost since, finishing the season at 15-1, including an 8-0 mark in the Patriot League. The Greyhounds beat number 18 and two-time Patriot League champion Lehigh 16-7 in the championship game at the Ridley Athletic Complex on April 27, and finished the season ranked number one in Lacrosse Magazine. Loyola is the third seed in the tournament, and will host the University of Albany (N.Y.) on May 10.

As for the Towson Tigers, they had a mediocre season that ended on a down note. The Tigers went 8-7 (2-3 in the Colonial Athletic Association) during the regular season, and lost to Drexel 11-10 in overtime in the CAA Tournament semifinals on May 1.

The Maryland women had another dominant season. The Lady Terps went 19-1, only losing at North Carolina 17-15 on April 5. Maryland rebounded from that loss by finishing the regular season on a six-game winning streak (including the ACC Tournament at Boston College), beating Virginia and Virginia Tech twice, and then defeating Syracuse 13-7 on April 27 to win its sixth straight conference championship. The Lady Terps are the top overall seed in the Women’s Division I NCAA Tournament, and will have a first-round bye. They’ll play the winner of Canisius and Penn in the second round on May 11 in College Park.

The Johns Hopkins Lady Blue Jays went 15-4 (3-3 in the American Lacrosse Conference) this season. They defeated Penn State 13-10 in the ALC tournament quarterfinals on May 1 before losing to Florida 11-6 the following day. Hopkins will play Georgetown in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Division I Lacrosse Tournament on May 9 at the University of North Carolina. It’s the first time the Lady Blue Jays have made the NCAA tournament in seven years.

Loyola went 14-5 (8-0 in the Patriot League), winning 12 out of their last 13 games. They received an at-large bid, and will play number 14 Massachusetts at Boston College on May 9. Towson went 11-7 (4-1 in the CAA), but ended their season in dramatic fashion. In the CAA championship game on May 4 in Williamsburg, Virginia, redshirt freshman midfielder Michelle Gildea scored with 35 seconds left in overtime to give the Lady Tigers a 12-11 win over James Madison for their third straight CAA lacrosse championship. Towson will play Stony Brook at Syracuse University on May 9 in the first round of the tournament.

The men’s national lacrosse championships will be at M&T Bank Stadium during Memorial Day weekend. The Division I semifinals will be on Saturday, May 24. The Division III national championship game will be on Sunday, May 25, and the Division I national championship game will be on May 26. The women’s national championship will be at Towson University on Friday, May 23.

UPDATED MAY 11

Upsets abounded in the first round of the NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Tournament this weekend. One local did the upsetting, while another got upset.

In a rematch of their season opener in February, Johns Hopkins upset eighth-seeded Virginia 14-8 in Charlottesville. Attacker Wells Stanwick scored five goals, and Brandon Benn added four of his own to give head coach Dave Pietramala his 158th win at Hopkins, tying Bob Scott’s record for most wins by a men’s head lacrosse coach in program history. Hopkins scored four unanswered goals in the fourth quarter to put the game away, and will play top seed and defending national champion Duke in the quarterfinals on May 18 at the University of Delaware.

Meanwhile, third-seeded Loyola was upset at home by the University of Albany, 13-6 on May 10. Great Danes goalie Blaze Riorden made 13 saves, and the Albany defense gave up their lowest goal total of the season. Justin Ward and Pat Laconi each scored twice, and goalie Jack Runkel made 11 saves for the Greyhounds.

Seventh-seeded Maryland needed a goal by senior midfielder Mike Chanenchuk with two seconds left in regulation to give the Terps an 8-7 win, thwarting an upset bid by the Cornell Big Red in College Park. Maryland will play Bryant in a quarterfinal game on May 17 at Hofstra University.

In the women’s tournament, top seed Maryland beat Penn 13-5 in College Park on May 11. Taylor Cummings had a hat trick, and won 10 draws, leading the Lady Terps to a 17-3 advantage on draws. Maryland will host Duke on May 17. Meanwhile, seventh-seeded Boston College defeated Loyola 8-3. Georgetown edged Hopkins 9-8 on an overtime goal by Kelyn Freedman on May 9. It was the Hoyas’ first tournament win since 2006.

Terps with the win, send the Seminoles and their Tomahawk Chop home (83-71)

Saturday, Feb. 8 brought the second matchup between Maryland and Florida State within a 30-day period.  When the Terrapins traveled to Tallahassee in January, they lost 85-61. This game marks the final matchup during regular season play between these two teams, and Maryland’s fifth to final home game as part of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).  The Terps entered the game 13-10 overall, 5-5 in the ACC; while the Seminoles were 14-8 overall, 5-5 in the ACC.

Starting for the Terps were sophomores Seth Allen, Charles Mitchell, and Jake Layman and juniors Evan Smotrycz and Dez Wells.  Sophomores Aaron Thomas, Montay Brandon, and Michael Ojo and seniors Okaro White and Robert Gilchrist started for the ‘Noles.

Aaron Thomas began gameplay for the Seminoles with a big shot behind the arc to put FSU three over on Maryland. Off a foul by FSU’s Michael Ojo, MD’s Evan Smotrycz went to the line, hitting one of his two free throws.  Then, a steal and dunk by Jake Layman tied the game 3-3.  Florida State answered back with a dunk of their own by Michael Ojo.  Seth Allen came up big for Maryland with a 3-pointer, followed by a layup by Charles Mitchell to put the Terps up by three (8-5) at a little over three minutes into the game. Florida State would never regain the lead.  FSU sophomore guard Aaron Thomas said, “[Allen] didn’t play well the first game we played and in this one he got going early.  I don’t think we did a good job containing him.” The Terps went up by seven (30-23) in a short run with under six minutes to play before Seth Allen (who scored 21 of his 32 total points in the first half) was fouled on a 3-point attempt and made all three shots from the line.  Jake Layman made a hit from behind the arc with 57 seconds on the clock to send Maryland into the locker room with a 46-29 lead over FSU. “We finished the first half well, and built that lead and maintained in in the second half,” said the Terrapins’ head coach Mark Turgeon.

Photos courtesy of Maryland Athletics
Maryland’s Seth Allen attacks the rim for a layup, with Florida State’s Michael Ojo defends the basket. (photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics)

In the second half, the Terrapins went up by 20 with just over 11 minutes to play. The Terps gave up some points in the end and allowed FSU to cut their lead to just eight.  Dez Wells contributed 13 of his total 15 points in the second half, and everyone, with the exception of Nick Faust (who scored six in the first half); also put points on the board during the half.  Something about this kid with 57 seconds on the clock: Jake Layman hustles for a loose ball to gain a key possession for the Terps.  Smotrycz hit one of two at the line off a foul by Okaro White, and Dez Wells went two for two at the line off a foul by Aaron Thomas. “My teammates got me open in transition and I was just making three pointers. It felt good; the win felt even better. They beat us bad [in the last game] so we came into tonight with a chip on our shoulders,” Seth Allen said of his and his team’s performance.

Of the Terrapins’ performance, Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton said, “they reversed the ball several different times, almost each possession, and broke our defense down. They did a good job of executing.”

Finishing with a career-high 32 points, Seth Allen led the Terps, followed by Dez Wells with 15 points and Jake Layman with 12.  For the Seminoles, Aaron Thomas led with 17 points, followed by Devon Bookert with 14, Okaro White with 12, and Montay Brandon with 11.

“Seth Allen was on another level tonight. He’s making shots and he guards better too,” Coach Turgeon said. “A really good win for us.  We played really well.  We shared the ball and took care of the ball until the very end. [Florida State] is a good team and athletic. I was really proud of our team.”

fsu1
Seth Allen (Left) and teammate Jake Layman (Right) (photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics)

Maryland will hit the road next to play #20 Virginia on Monday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m.  The game will air live on ESPN.  Following the game against Virginia, the Terps will travel to Cameron Indoor Stadium to face rival Duke on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 6 p.m. in their solo matchup this season; that game will also air on ESPN.  Maryland will return home Tuesday, Feb. 18 to face Wake Forest at 7 p.m.