WASHINGTON, D.C. — The production-by-committee approach that worked so well in the first half for the Maryland men's lacrosse team evolved into a one-man show in the second half.
Cummings, who finished with a career-best five points on three goals and two assists, played a significant role in the third quarter during which he had a hand in three of the team's four goals in that period.
Within a span of 4 minutes, 53 seconds, Cummings converted a feed from junior midfielder John Haus, scored off of a pass from junior midfielder Kevin Cooper, and fed Haus for a blast from the left wing to help Maryland turn a three-goal lead into a 10-4 advantage.
"I just try to play within the system," said Cummings, a Towson native and Loyola graduate. "If I'm presented the opportunity to feed to a guy, it's an awesome opportunity to do that. The fact that I was on the receiving end was just a great thing, that I happened to be in that spot. It's a credit to the other five guys on the field that we were able to get a goal. It's not one person scoring, it's the whole offense."
In addition to Cummings, senior midfielder Michael Shakespeare registered the first hat trick of his career. Haus enjoyed a four-point display on one goal and three assists, and Cooper posted one goal and two assists.
Cummings' outburst came on the heels of a collective effort in the first half during which six different players scored at least one goal. Ten players finished with at least one goal.
"That's how we play, team mentality," Shakespeare said. "Everything's based off of chemistry, everybody works well with one another, and I think everybody plays off of each other's strengths. The lines are set up and everybody kind of knows what their role is on each line, and everybody plays well together. So I think that kind of accounted for things in the first quarter."
The Terps opened the scoring with a pair of goals within 39 seconds of each other. Cummings converted a centering pass from freshman attackman Rustin Bryant on an extra-man opportunity with 11:59 left in the first quarter, and Shakespeare followed with his first tally.
After junior attackman Jason McFadden scored a goal in his debut as a starter to cut the deficit in half, Maryland reeled off five unanswered goals, one of which involved a Cooper pass to Shakespeare at the right point with 6:07 remaining in the first quarter and one that Cooper scored just 77 seconds into the second period.
The Hoyas scored twice in the final two minutes before halftime, but not even a goalie switch —from senior C.T. Fisher to sophomore Jake Haley — at intermission could give them the spark they needed as Cummings went on his spree in the third quarter.
The Terps opened the second half on a 9-1 run before Georgetown scored six goals in the final seven minutes of regulation.
Junior midfielder Brian Casey paced the Hoyas with three goals and one assist, but coach Dave Urick dismissed the notion that rust was a factor for a team playing its first game of the season.
"I think we can play better,' he said. "We dug a hole for ourselves and had some self-inflicted wounds, too, that didn't help us too much."