Maryland beats Duke in NCAA men's lacrosse semifinals

In an earlier photo, the Maryland men's lacrosse team celebrates winning the 2011 ACC championship. Photo: Facebook/MarylandLacrosse

BALTIMORE, Md. (AP) - Niko Amato made 13 saves to anchor a suffocating defensive effort and unseeded Maryland defeated fifth-seeded Duke 9-4 on Saturday to reach the NCAA men's lacrosse national championship.

Amato, a redshirt freshman, made seven saves in the first half in front of a crowd of 45,039 at M&T Bank Stadium to help the Terps to a 5-2 lead.

He got great support from a close defense comprised of Max Schmidt, Brett Schmidt and Ryder Bohlander, which held Duke scoreless for stretches of more than 18 minutes in the first half and 22 minutes in the second half.

Grant Catalino scored three goals for Maryland (13-4), which advanced to the finals for the first time since 1998. Midfielder Joe Cummings had two goals and an assist for the Terrapins, who are seeking to capture their first national championship since 1975.