The unseeded Maryland Terrapins have advanced to the National Championship Game of the 2011 NCAA Lacrosse Tournament. They upset the No. 5 Duke Blue Devils, 9-4, on Saturday.
Maryland's Grant Catalino scored three goals on three shots (all on the net). Goalkeeper Niko Amato faced 17 shots and made 13 saves. The Blue Devils were only able to manage one goal per period. Star attacker Zach Howell, who had 42 goals and 16 assists entering the game, had one of those goals and put three of four shots on net.
Maryland's story is perhaps the most surprising one of the tournament. They were the only unseeded team to advance out of the opening round by beating No. 8 North Carolina in convincing fashion, 13-6. Then in the quarterfinals, Catalino scored the game-winning goal with 32 seconds left in overtime to defeat the No. 1 overall seed Syracuse Orange.
All four teams in the semis (Denver, Duke, Maryland and Virginia) won upset victories in the quarterfinals, knocking out Nos. 1-4.
This will be Maryland's 10th appearance in the championship game, the first since losing to Princeton in 1998. They have won two NCAA titles (1973, 1975). Virginia won it all in 2006.
The National Title will be decided in M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, MD on Monday, May 30, at 1:30 p.m. MT. Tune into ESPN for the final action.
Please visit College Crosse for more on the 2011 NCAA Lacrosse Tournament.