2011 NCAA Lacrosse National Championship: Virginia Wins Fifth Title, 9-7 Over Maryland

The Virginia Cavaliers are the 2011 NCAA Lacrosse National Champions thanks to four goals from Colin Briggs, three goals from Matt White and a defense that shut down the Maryland offense most of the day.

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2011 NCAA Lacrosse Championship: Attendance Way Down For Virginia-Maryland

When the Virginia Cavaliers beat the Maryland Terrapins 9-7 to win the 2011 NCAA Lacrosse National Title on Monday, they did so in front of the smallest crowd to witness a title game since 2002 (announced crowd of 35,661).

Incidentally, 2002 was also the last time the NCAA Championship was played in a non-NFL football stadium (Rutgers Stadium).

As a frame of reference, 37,126 watched Duke beat Notre Dame last year at M&T. Syracuse and Johns Hopkins broke the attendance record in 2008 when 48,970 watched them at Gillette Stadium. Attendance in the finals has been on a downward slope ever since, dropping to 41,935 in 2009 and then the aforementioned 37,126 last year.

With two nearby lacrosse powerhouses playing in Baltimore's M&T Stadium, it begs the question...why is attendance for the National Title game dropping?

Heat: This is more of an explanation for this year's game. It was 96 degrees in Baltimore when the game started. And that was the temperature outside the stadium. You had to believe it was even hotter inside and one report said temperatures reached 120 degrees on the field at one point.

Lack of CNY teams: Despite the fact that Maryland and Virginia are closer to Baltimore than Syracuse, there's something to be said for Central New York fans and how they travel for the Final Four. And it's not just Syracuse. Schools in lower divisions such as Cortland and Le Moyne have been Final Four mainstays for years. Not this year, however.

TV/Internet Growth: It's hard to quantify how much lacrosse's improved exposure could be affecting attendance but the truth is, it's easier than ever for fans to watch these games from the comfort of their own homes. Every tournament game was televised and the Final Four/National Titles games were prominently featured on ESPN/ESPN2. Besides, its easy enough to find the game, or at least live updates, on the Internet.

Timing is everything: Because of the raised awareness and interest in the National Title game, the start time has crept back in recent years. While that's good for TV numbers, it could have an inverse affect on attendance. The game always take place on the Monday of Memorial Day Weekend and folks usually want to try and beat traffic or end their trips early that day. A noon start gets folks out of Baltimore at a reasonable time while a 3:30pm start means weary travelers are likely in for more traffic, something that might make them think twice about driving down from NY/NJ or wherever.

Fans getting priced out?: As the game has gotten more high-profile and the stadiums have gotten bigger, ticket prices have risen. Unless you're pretty confident your team is going to play for the title, you might not be so quick to snap up tickets as you used to be. This year if you're a Denver or Duke fan, perhaps its that much harder to find a buyer for that ticket you don't need anymore.

Baltimore not the mecca its made out to be?: Maybe this is jumping to conclusions but attendance has fallen drastically since the Final Four returned to Baltimore from Boston. Still, Baltimore saw 48K pack the stadium in 2007, almost as well as Foxborough. So the question is probably more related to the state of lacrosse tickets and demand rather than where the game is held.

Besides, this year's semifinals were extremely-well attended. The Duke-Virginia semifinal was watched by 45,039, the sixth-best attendance for a semifinal match ever.

For more coverage of the game as well as post-game discussion, visit SB Nation’s college lacrosse blog College Crosse, Virginia blog Streaking The Lawn and Maryland blog Testudo Times.

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2011 NCAA Lacrosse National Championship: 'A Very Very Special Moment' For Virginia

The Virginia Cavaliers won their fifth overall National Title in college lacrosse Monday when they defeated the Maryland Terrapins 9-7 in Baltimore.

The win was head coach Dom Starsia’s fourth title as head coach of the Cavaliers. Considering what the team has gone through in the last couple seasons, from the Yeardley Love ordeal and the dismissal of the Bratton Twins, the win has to feel like a vindication for the legendary head coach who guided his team through tragedy and trauma.

“I haven’t had a chance to absorb all this, but this is certainly a very very special moment,” head coach Dom Starsia said. “This is a team I would have been very proud of even if they had not won this season, but the fact that we were able to come back, and even when they tied it. That sort of epitomized the whole season for us.”

Virginia blog Streaking The Lawn sends their appreciation Starsia’s way, as well as the teams.

What a season for this squad of talented, industrious, and beloved Cavaliers! To go from one of the overwhelming favorites to win it all to what some deemed a “disastrous” season, and to come back and win it all in the end. Well, Hoos fans everywhere are familiar with the roller coaster ride that is Virginia sports.

For more coverage of the game as well as in-game discussion, visit SB Nation’s college lacrosse blog College Crosse, Virginia blog Streaking The Lawn and Maryland blog Testudo Times.

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Virginia vs. Maryland, Final Score: Cavaliers Win Fifth National Title, Defeat Terps 9-7

The Virginia Cavaliers are the 2011 NCAA Lacrosse National Champions.

The Cavs shook off a slow start and took control of the title game against their ACC foe Maryland Terrapins in the second quarter. The teams would go back and forth, but Virginia would not trail again, ultimately pulling away in the fourth quarter to win the game 9-7.

Colin Briggs led the Cavaliers with four goals while Matt White added thee in the win. Team star Steele Stanwick only mustered an assist on the day, but his teammates picked up the slack for him while he was shadowed by Maryland defenders.

This is Virginia’s fifth national title and their fourth since 1999. It might just be the title they appreciate the most, given a tough season and the many off-the-field issues they’ve had to persevere against.

Down two goals, Maryland kicked off the fourth quarter with a critical goal from senior defender Brian Farrell. Farrell ran the length of the field on a fast-break and scored a diving beauty while being pushed right in front of the goal. At the 13:06 mark, the Maryland crowd was awake and the moment was shifting.

That was never more apparent than two minutes later when Maryland went on the fast break again and once again scored, this time courtesy of Ryan Young. With the score tied 6-6 and 11:43 remaining on the clock, it was officially anyone’s game again.

Then Matt White took a Nick O’Reilly feed and put Virginia right back on top, 7-6, at 10:03. The Cavs sliced the Terps defense and caught them in a failed slide, leaving White wide open for the easy score.

White then did it again, earning a hat trick with a blazing shot from the left side to make it 8-6 at 5:29. The assist came from Steele Stanwick, his first point on the day.

The Cavs closed things down with Colin Brigg’s fourth goal on the day, a bounce-pass score that made it 9-6 with two minutes left. Maryland added a courtesy goal with :16 left but it was too little, too late.

The celebration begins now over at Streaking The Lawn.

For more coverage of the game as well as in-game discussion, visit SB Nation’s college lacrosse blog College Crosse, Virginia blog Streaking The Lawn and Maryland blog Testudo Times.

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Virginia vs. Maryland: Briggs, Cavaliers Lead 6-4 After Three Quarters

The Maryland Terrapins struck first in the 2011 NCAA Lacrosse Championship but the Virginia Cavaliers dominated the second quarter to take a 5-3 lead into the locker room. The third quarter slowed back down in terms of scoring but Virginia maintains a 6-4 lead heading into the final period.

Colin Briggs started the second half for the Cavaliers the same way he ended the first one, by scoring. Briggs won a foot-race with multiple Terrapin defenders and shot it past Amato to make it 6-3. Not only was it the first three-point lead of the day but it was Virginia’s fourth-straight goal.

Grant Catalino finally got Maryland back on the board with his second goal of the day at the 6:58 mark. He ripped one from the top of the box, right past the goalie. Suddenly, the Terps had some momentum back after going almost 16 minutes with a score.

Maryland will need to get their offense in gear if they want a chance to win this game and the National title. One quarter left to do it.

For more coverage of the game as well as in-game discussion, visit SB Nation’s college lacrosse blog College Crosse, Virginia blog Streaking The Lawn and Maryland blog Testudo Times.

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Virginia vs. Maryland: Colin Briggs' Hat Trick Puts Cavaliers Up 5-3 At Halftime

The scoring has picked up in the 2011 NCAA Lacrosse National Title game. The Virginia Cavaliers were able to get on the board and take a lead but the Maryland Terrapins continued to fight back, even briefly taking the lead back. The two teams traded goals all period long but it was Virginia who took a 5- lead into halftime.

Colin Briggs evened things up for Virginia with a buzzer that flew past Niko Amato at the 12:47 mark of the second quarter.

Matt White then gave Virginia their first lead of the day with a sneaky goal at the 9:43 mark when he slipped behind the Terp defenders and quick-sticked it in past Amato.

Nick O’Reilly assisted on both goals.

Tired of watching Virginia have all the fun, Maryland got back on the board thanks to John Haus at the 8:14 mark. The goal was unassisted as Haus drove from the right side and flung it past the goalie.

Then Maryland took back the lead at the 7:44 mark thanks to Owen Blye, who caught the ball behind the goal, saw that the Virginia defenders were giving him too much room and took off to the goal where he careened it off the post for a 3-2 lead.

Just when you thought Maryland has regained control of the game, Colin Briggs came back and tied things up again. Briggs raced around the back of the net and took his man one-on-one to the net, shooting over the shoulder and making it 3-3 with 4:24 remaining. Considering Briggs missed the semifinal game, the Cavs are pretty happy to have him back right now.

Nick O’Reilly then stopped assisting and started scoring when he was the recipient of a beautiful pass right in front of the net, dumping it in at 2:41 to make it 4-3 Cavs. Stanwick and Cockerton assisted.

Briggs then made it a hat trick with a big-time powershot at the 1:59 mark to give Virginia the first two-goal lead either team has had in the game.

For more coverage of the game as well as in-game discussion, visit SB Nation’s college lacrosse blog College Crosse, Virginia blog Streaking The Lawn and Maryland blog Testudo Times.

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Virginia vs. Maryland: Catalino, Amato Have Terps Ahead 1-0 After First Quarter

Considering 30 Seconds To Mars, fronted by Jared Leto, is ESPN’s go-to band for NCAA Lacrosse vignettes, it only makes sense that someone who’s name sounds like Jordan Catalano would score the first goal of the NCAA Championship game between the Virginia Cavaliers and Maryland Terrapins.

Grant Catalino got the Terps on the board first, making good on a feed from Haus to start the scoring at the 12:27 mark in the first quarter. Virginia’s man-to-man defense seemed to break down rather easily and they quickly went back to a zone.

From there, Maryland goalie Niko Amato basically took over. Virginia peppered him with shots for the rest of the quarter and he continued to turn them away. It seemed as though Virginia did get one goal in but it was called off for interference after the ball was knocked from freshman Amato’s stick while he was in the crease.

Virginia needs to figure out how to solve Amato, though they at least can take solace in knowing they’re only down one.

For more coverage of the game as well as in-game discussion, visit SB Nation’s college lacrosse blog College Crosse, Virginia blog Streaking The Lawn and Maryland blog Testudo Times.

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2011 NCAA Lacrosse Championship, Virginia vs. Maryland: 96 Degrees In Baltimore

The Virginia Cavaliers (12-5) are about to take on the Maryland Terrapins (13-4) for the 2011 NCAA Lacrosse National Title at 3:30 p.m. EST in M&T Stadium in Baltimore. I hope they both brought a lot of Gatorade with them (or Powerade or some energy drink, depending on who the official sponsor is).

It’s currently 96 degrees and extremely humid in Baltimore. How that’s going to affect the game and each team, we’ll have to see. Hydration, timeouts and good substitutions are going to be critical.

Remember, if its 96 degrees outside, its even hotter down on the field. It’s going to get schvitzy. Especially for a group of fans wearing red and orange. Hopefully no Maryland fans were dumb enough to wear black.

For more coverage of the game as well as in-game discussion, visit SB Nation’s college lacrosse blog College Crosse, Virginia blog Streaking The Lawn and Maryland blog Testudo Times.

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2011 NCAA Lacrosse Championship, Virginia vs. Maryland: Lazy Announcer Bingo Card

The Virginia Cavaliers (12-5) are about to take on the Maryland Terrapins (13-4) for the 2011 NCAA Lacrosse National Title at 3:30 p.m. EST in M&T Stadium in Baltimore. The game will be televised on ESPN where Sean McDonough, Quint Kessenich & Eamon McAnaney will announce the game.

Since this is the one game of the year most likely to pull in casual viewers of the sport, you can bet that that trio is going to have their bag of tricks ready to keep you up-to-speed and in the know. That means, hardcore lacrosse fans, you're just going to have to grin and bear it as you hear bits of information and kernels on each notable team, player and coach that you've heard ad nauseum all season long.

The least you can do is have some fun with it. And so, I give you your Lazy Announcer Bingo Card for the 2011 NCAA Lacrosse National Championship Game:

Bingo_medium

First one to say BINGO! wins. What you win...I have no idea.

For more coverage of the game as well as in-game discussion, visit SB Nation's college lacrosse blog College Crosse, Virginia blog Streaking The Lawn and Maryland blog Testudo Times.

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Virginia vs. Maryland: Cavaliers NCAA Lacrosse Championship History

The Virginia Cavaliers (12-5) will take on the Maryland Terrapins (13-4) for the 2011 NCAA Lacrosse National Title at 3:30 p.m. EST in M&T Stadium in Baltimore. When they do, both teams will be participating in a championship game they're both very familiar with.

Seven schools have basically dominated NCAA Lacrosse since its inception in 1971. Syracuse, Princeton, Johns Hopkins, North Carolina, Cornell, Virginia and Maryland. Some of those schools won a lot of championships early on and faded from the title game spotlight while others have made their cases more strongly in recent years.

Virginia is the latter.

That's not to say the Cavs didn't get off to a hot start. They won the 2nd-ever NCAA Championship in 1972, a 13-12 triumph over Johns Hopkins. Hopefully they savored that win cause it would be a while until their next one.

In 1980, Virginia returned to the title game but fell short this time, losing 9-8 to Hopkins in double-overtime. The Cavaliers led 8-6 with nine minutes to play but things fell apart shortly-thereafter.

It would be another six years until they returned to the title game again, though they would lose again, 10-9 in overtime to North Carolina. Incidentally, this was the only other time in NCAA history aside from 2011 that two teams from the same conference played for the title.

The Cavs started to make trips to the title game a more-regular thing in the mid-90's. They would play for the 1994 and 1996 championships, but lose both. As if to keep alive some sort of heart-breaking streak, they would lose both games in overtime,both to Princeton.

After a brief hiatus, Virginia finally broke through in 1999, winning their second National Title. The Cavs took a 9-3 lead over Syracuse into the third quarter and held on for a 12-10 victory.

The Cavs would return to glory in 2003 and beat old enemy Johns Hopkins 9-7 and again in 2006 when they trounced Cinderella UMass 15-7.

After what's become a bit of a drought by their own standards, the Cavaliers are back in the title game in 2011. They'll look to keep alive their streak of winning championships, though if the game does go to overtime, expect the ghosts of championship games past to make an appearance.

For more coverage of the game as well as in-game discussion, visit SB Nation's college lacrosse blog College Crosse, Virginia blog Streaking The Lawn and Maryland blog Testudo Times.

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Virginia vs. Maryland: Terrapins NCAA Lacrosse Championship History

The Virginia Cavaliers (12-5) will take on the Maryland Terrapins (13-4) for the 2011 NCAA Lacrosse National Title at 3:30 p.m. EST in M&T Stadium in Baltimore. When they do, both teams will be participating in a championship game they're both very familiar with.

Seven schools have basically dominated NCAA Lacrosse since its inception in 1971. Syracuse, Princeton, Johns Hopkins, North Carolina, Cornell, Virginia and Maryland. Some of those schools won a lot of championships early on and faded from the title game spotlight while others have made their cases more strongly in recent years. Maryland is certainly the former.

It's pretty crazy to think that Maryland hasn't won a National Title since 1975. You'd just assume a program like this one, nestled in the heart of lacrosse country, would be swimming in championships. However, the Terrapins "only" have two NCAA titles to speak of (To be fair, they did win seven National Titles prior to the NCAA but lacrosse fans treat pre-NCAA titles the same way NFL fans treat pre-Super Bowl league titles).

Maryland played in the first-ever NCAA Lacrosse championship game in 1971. Unfortunately for them, they were also the first team to lose one as well as Cornell beat them 12-6.

In 1973, the undefeated Terrapins, led by Hall of Fame midfielder Frank Urso, defeated mighty Johns Hopkins 10-9 in double overtime. Hopkins would get their revenge on Maryland the following year, drubbing them 17-12 in the 1974 finals.

The Terrapins grabbed Title No. 2 in 1975, beating Navy 20-13. Twenty goals is the second-most scored in a championship game (21 - Syracuse, 1990).

The Terps got a chance at revenge against Cornell the following year but the Big Red bested them again, 16-13 in overtime. OT was an open period and not sudden death at the time, hence the strange score.

Maryland took a couple years off from playing for the title but returned in 1979. Once again they would come up short, dropping this one to Hopkins 15-9.

The Terrapins would not play for the National Title again until 1995 when they match-up with Syracuse. That appearance began a bitterly-disappointing four-year run that saw Maryland lose three title games, including two-in-a-row to Princeton in '97 and '98.

The Terps would once again enter a title-game drought that lasted until this current run. In that time, the team went to Final Fours, as recently as 2006, but was never able to get back to the promised land.

The appearance drought is over. But ask any Maryland fan, player or coach and they'll tell you that's not the one they're concerned with. They want to win their first National Title in over 35 years.

For more coverage of the game as well as in-game discussion, visit SB Nation's college lacrosse blog College Crosse, Virginia blog Streaking The Lawn and Maryland blog Testudo Times.

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2011 NCAA Lacrosse National Championship, Virginia vs. Maryland: Terps Show Thier Purple Heart

When the Maryland Terrapins suit up to play the Virginia Cavaliers in the 2011 NCAA Lacrosse National Title at 3:30 p.m. EST in M&T Stadium in Baltimore, they'll be doing so in their customary school colors of red, black and yellow.

They'll also be adding one more color into the mix. Purple.

Purple is the color used to raise awareness for pancreatic cancer, which is what took the life of Maryland senior attackman Ryan Young's mother, Maria, six weeks ago. She battled against the cancer for three years.

Maryland head coach John Tillman says the Terps rallied around Young and his family after the loss.

"I think what happened is everybody else stepped up their play to make it easier for Ryan, and that adversity really brought us together," Tillman said. "I think hearing Maria Young's story inspired everyone to work that much harder. To go through three years of chemo and radiation and fight the fight for her three boys and make sure they graduated, you can't not be inspired."

Part of that support means the Terrapins have been wearing purple shirts during warm-ups as well as donning purple ribbons or stickers with the initials MY on their helmets. Tillman has worn a purple shirt on the sidelines.

Young also has the word "MOM" etched on a piece of paper taped inside his helmet.

Ryan almost had the chance to play for the title against his twin brother, Kevin, who plays for Duke. The Blue Devils were beaten in the other semifinal by Virginia. Their older brother Michael also played for Duke between 2005-2008.

Expect the team to honor Maria Young not only by wearing purple on Monday but also through what is sure to be inspired play in what's already been an inspired post-season run.

For more coverage of the game as well as in-game discussion, visit SB Nation's college lacrosse blog College Crosse, Virginia blog Streaking The Lawn and Maryland blog Testudo Times.

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2011 NCAA Lacrosse National Championship, Virginia vs. Maryland: Cavaliers Persevere Together To Reach Finals

The Virginia Cavaliers (12-5) will take on the Maryland Terrapins (13-4) for the 2011 NCAA Lacrosse National Title at 3:30 p.m. EST in M&T Stadium in Baltimore. The game will be televised live on ESPN.

Virginia come into the National Championship with hardships they've overcome, and in a few cases, ones they're still overcoming.

It seems so long ago now that the Virginia lacrosse program was thrown into upheaval after it was revealed that women's lacrosse player Yeardley Love was found dead in her apartment and the main suspect was men's lacrosse player George Huguely. The details surrounding the case were rattling and for a sport already suffering from an image problem when it came to how its players treat women, it was devastating news.

Virginia head coach Dom Starsia put it all in succinct terms as his team prepared to play for a championship a year removed from the tragedy.

"It's been quite a journey for a lot of years. It has been very tough at times, but we've gotten through it as best as we can."

Included in Starsia's sentiments is certainly former team captain Will Barrow, who committed suicide in 2008.

As for Huguely, he'll be sitting in his jail cell Monday as he awaits a February 6th, 2012 trial. A grand jury indicted him last month for first-degree and felony murder.

Starsia used a stricter set of standards for himself and his team as one way to get through the issues. Those standards are a big reason why senior midfielder Shamel Bratton was dismissed from the team earlier this season. His twin brother, Rhamel, was suspended indefinitely as well. Both were expected to be major contributors and were long-considered top prospects.

Starsia drew the line at whatever insubordination they caused. He doesn't have the luxury of letting players slide in his program these days. Too many emotions, too many off-field issues and too many potential pitfalls. The tight ship has paid dividends on the field as the Cavaliers attempt to win their fourth title under Starsia's watch. If they do win, it might just be the sweetest one of them all.

For more coverage of the game as well as in-game discussion, visit SB Nation's college lacrosse blog College Crosse, Virginia blog Streaking The Lawn and Maryland blog Testudo Times.

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2011 NCAA Lacrosse National Championship, Virginia vs. Maryland: The ACCpocalpyse

Many NCAA lacrosse fans chide the ACC for their four-team conference (Virginia, Maryland, Duke, North Carolina) and the way it props each team up come tourney time. Unfortunately for the naysayers, the ACC also proved its worth this year against everyone else.

The Virginia Cavaliers (12-5) will take on the Maryland Terrapins (13-4) for the 2011 NCAA Lacrosse National Title at 3:30 p.m. EST in M&T Stadium in Baltimore. The game will be televised live on ESPN.

The Terrapins got here by defeating another ACC team, defending national champion Duke. They did so with a dominating defensive performance. Duke had 13 shots in the first half but managed only two goals. They managed only two more on the night as Terps goal Niko Amato and the Maryland defense shut down the champs.

For Maryland, it's a program-boosting opportunity. The Terrapins have long-been considered one of college lacrosse's elite programs. But unlike schools such as Syracuse, Virginia and Johns Hopkins, they've been in a Final Four and National Title drought that feel like an eternity. This season was their first Final Four appearance since 2006, their first National Title game appearance since 1998 and they're hoping to win it all for the first time since all the way back in 1975.

It's also a boost to a program that saw the third-winningest coach in school history resign last season amidst perceived lack of results. In his first season on the job, Maryland coach John Tillman has made good on those expectations.

Virginia got here by beating a non-ACC foe, Final Four-newbie Denver. They did in impressive fashion, led by perfectly-named lacrosse star Steele Stanwick. Stanwick has basically been unstoppable in the NCAA tournament so far, garnering 20 points on nine goals and 11 assists in three games. If the Terps try to clamp down on Steele, junior attackman Chris Bocklet or sophomore attackman Matt White can pick up the slack.

Virginia head coach Dom Starsia set NCAA record for most wins as a head coach (327) two weeks back in the first round of the tournament. He's hoping to keep that streak alive and add a fourth National Title (1999, 2003, 2006) to his credits as well.

Virginia and Maryland played once this season with the Terps winning 12-7 on the road. Maryland dominated the face-off battle in that one (14-8), a stat that could work to their advantage once again this time.

Maryland leads the all-time series 45-41, though Virginia has won 9 of the last 11 meetings.

This is only the second time two schools from the same conference have played in the NCAA men’s lacrosse championship and both times they were from the ACC. In 1986, Virginia to North Carolina 10-9 in overtime.

For more coverage of the game as well as in-game discussion, visit SB Nation's college lacrosse blog College Crosse, Virginia blog Streaking The Lawn and Maryland blog Testudo Times.

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