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2015 NCAA Lacrosse Tournament: Maryland Survives Johns Hopkins' Charge in 12-11 Win

The Terps will now look to snap a 40-year title drought.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Johns Hopkins v. (6) Maryland

Maryland has advanced to its third national championship game appearance in the last five seasons following a 12-11 triumph over Johns Hopkins in the second semifinal of the NCAA Tournament. Matt Rambo designed a superb four-and-two effort and Jay Carlson offered three goals and an assist in the Terps' victory. John Crawley had four goals in the Blue Jays' defeat while Joel Tinney and Wells Stanwick each collared two tallies for Hopkins.

What the first half lacked in dirty speed -- the first 30 minutes of Johns Hopkins-Maryland was played at an estimated 24 total possessions with the Terps holding a 14-10 advantage against the Blue Jays -- it made up for in antiseptic efficiency: Both teams converted on at least 40 percent of their estimated offensive opportunities and the arch rivals combined for only five turnovers. The shooting rates that the teams exhibited was less than sophisticated -- Hopkins shot only 23.53 percent in the first half and put only six of its 17 shots on cage; Maryland was slightly more accurate than the Jays, shooting 27.27 percent while firing almost 60 percent of their attempts into Eric Schneider's save radius -- but the execution rates that each team realized outpaced the actual output reflected on the scoreboard. Despite the two-goal margin in the statsbook at the intermission, the Terps likely entered the locker room with a sense of unfinished opportunity: Maryland composed one of its strongest two-quarter offensive efforts in 2015, held a strong possession edge, and were dictating the tempo of the game, yet witnessed Johns Hopkins knock through an elevated rate -- not volume; rate -- of goals (40.00 percent) against its exemplary defense while grimacing through a half in which Schneider saved over 53 percent of the Terps' attempts on Hopkins' cage.

Maryland didn't waste any time pushing forward its potential from the first half, outscoring Johns Hopkins 4-3 in the penultimate quarter. While the scoreboard did not illustrate a notable domination of the third quarter-hour of the game, the Terps were stronger than the Jays in the third period in important ways: Facing an estimated three-possession deficit in the quarter, Maryland found twine on two-thirds of its six estimated offensive opportunities while shooting 33.33 percent as a team, committing only two turnovers and supporting Kyle Bernlohr as the first team All-American suffered through a period in which the keeper held only a 25.00 save percentage. The Terps' defense toughened in the period, limiting Johns Hopkins to scoring on only a third of the Jays' nine offensive opportunities despite shooting almost 43 percent (four turnovers from Hopkins burned the Blue Jays). There was something dangerous lurking, though, in Maryland's surge toward a 10-7 lead at the end of 45 minutes: John Crawley deposited the last two goals of the quarter into the net for Johns Hopkins in a 40-second span late in the period, eroding the five-goal edge that Maryland built with 7:28 remaining in the third frame.

Johns Hopkins' quiet rush exploded into a full-blown situation early in the final quarter: Three straight buckets from the Jays in the first 3:15 of the fourth quarter drew Johns Hopkins square with the Terps, Ryan Brown's hammer at the 11:45 mark residing as the first time the two foes were tied since 5:36 remained in the opening quarter. In the face of adversity, Matt Rambo -- Maryland's offensive soul -- responded to Johns Hopkins' five-goal run with two consecutive blasts, the first occurring in an extra-man posture and the second in an even situation on a feed from Bryan Cole with 7:24 blinking on the clock.

The only issue remaining was whether Maryland could survive a final blitz from Hopkins, and the Terps came through the hastened expedition from the Jays with a sense of character that eluded Maryland at points this season late in games. The Terrapins pivoted from a Shack Stanwick extra-man goal with 73 seconds remaining in regulation and withstood two critical moments with under a minute left until Memorial Day: Shack Stanwick directed an absolute sitter into the side of Bernlohr's net and, after Maryland blew the ensuing clear with a 90-yard moon shot that crossed Hopkins' endline, witnessed Bernlohr turn away a violently perilous Joel Tinney shot when he raised his crosse above his right shoulder and caught the ball with the butt end of his stick, sending the pill away with less than a second left in the game to secure Maryland's win.

TRUNCATED ESTIMATED ADVANCED BOX SCORE: JOHNS HOPKINS v. MARYLAND
METRIC HOPKINS MARYLAND
Score 11 12
Estimated Possession Margin +2 (29) -2 (27)
Estimated Raw Offensive Efficiency 37.93% 44.44%
Raw Offensive Shooting Rate 31.43% 25.93%
Estimated Turnover Rate 31.03% 25.93%
Team Save Percentage 52.00% 35.29%