BALTIMORE -- The partisan crowd roared on every hit, as if Ray Lewis were roaming the field delivering the blows.
Maryland used a stifling, physical defense and patient kill-the-clock offense, replete with numerous stall warnings, to beat Duke, 9-4, Saturday night in the second NCAA Tournament Division I men's lacrosse semifinal at M&T Bank Stadium. That's where Ray Lewis does, in fact, ply his trade as one of the most dominant linebackers in NFL history.
Lewis would have loved this characterization of the Terrapins' victory from Duke coach John Danowski: "Maryland was too physical, too big, too strong and too athletic for us."
Grant Catalino led Maryland with three goals. His second, which gave the Terps a 6-3 lead with 4:41 left in the third quarter, caused the partisan crowd to erupt. "I saw the defense collapse," Catalino said. "They bit on the [shot] fake. Then I did a face dodge and put it in the back of the net. We fed off the crowd all night."
Duke's Zach Howell (Huntington) had brought his team to within 5-3 about five minutes into the third quarter with a dodge left and high hard one to the top shelf. But Catalino's goal seemed to take the life out of the Blue Devils, just as the crowd came to life. An unassisted goal by Owen Blye on a dodge from behind the cage made it 7-3. Maryland's rugged defense made that deficit seem larger.
'There was a little bit of a lack of poise," said Duke's Justin Turri (West Islip), who had a fourth-quarter assist. "We turned the ball over a bunch, and their pressure did force us into those. They're big and strong and it disrupted us."
The first half featured seven different goal-scorers as Maryland took a 5-2 lead. Ryan Young (Chaminade) assisted on one of those first-half goals. His twin brother Kevin (Manhasset) was on the sideline but did not play for Duke.
The Youngs' story, however, goes beyond the playing field. Their mother, Maria Young, died on April 17 after a three-year battle with pancreatic cancer. Part of her legacy is that Maryland dedicated the season to her, with players wearing her initials inside their helmets.
Additionally, the color purple was sprinkled throughout the mostly red-clan Maryland crowd as part of the tribute to Maria Young. Purple is the pancreatic cancer awareness color, much as pink serves for breast cancer. The Terrapins' coaches wore purple shirts. "That adversity brought us together," Maryland coach John Tillman said. "Hearing Maria's story, how she fought for more than three years, inspired us."