PHILADELPHIA - The situation was desperate. A five-goal lead had disappeared early in the fourth quarter and Maryland was in trouble. Someone had to save the Terrapins. It was a task for Rambo.
Matt Rambo, a sophomore from nearby Glenside, Pennsylvania, scored two goals in 95 seconds and Maryland held off stubborn Johns Hopkins, 12-11, on Saturday in the second NCAA Division I men's lacrosse semifinal at Lincoln Financial Field.
"I didn't have any memories about high school. I was just focusing on the next play and trying to make a new memory here at Maryland," said Rambo, who had four goals and two assists. Sixth-seeded Maryland (15-3) will face fourth-seeded Denver on Monday. Unseeded Johns Hopkins finished 11-7 despite four goals by John Crawley of Port Washington.
Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala, a Hicksville native who was a star at St. Mary's (Manhasset), believed Rambo had some additional motivation. "I'm not surprised that Matt Rambo was more assertive coming home and playing in a Final Four," Pietramala said.
After Jay Carlson (three goals, one assist) scored his second unassisted goal midway through the third quarter to give Maryland a 10-5 lead, Crawley took over. The sophomore, who played both attack and midfield, scored twice in 39 seconds to make it 10-7 and then made it 10-9 with an unassisted goal with 12:44 left in the fourth. Ryan Brown, whose 61 goals is a school record, completed the Blue Jays' comeback a minute later with an unassisted goal.
That's when Rambo began his mission. He made a gorgeous spin move to break the tie with 9:59 left and stepped into a pass from Bryan Cole for a blast that made it 12-10. "My teammates were creating opportunities for me to get open off the crease," Rambo said.
He cited, among others, Joe LoCascio (Lindenhurst, St. Anthony's) who had two assists. "I was just finding spots."
He lifted the Terrapins out of a tough spot. "When they got to 10-10, we needed to be able to weather that storm," Maryland coach John Tillman said. "Matt's goal was a big play. It calmed us down."
It was Rambo to the rescue.