CHESTER, PA. 5/27/2016 – It will be a rematch of last year’s championship game on Sunday when the Maryland Terrapins meet the Tar Heels of North Carolina for the NCAA Women’s Lacrosse title. Maryland earned their spot in the final by defeating the Orange of Syracuse 19 – 9 in the second semifinal in front of 7,906 at Taken Energy Stadium. North Carolina punched their ticket earlier getting by Penn State 12 – 11. The top-seeded Terps improve to 22 – 0, but the focus is on getting win number twenty-three.
“It’s always a battle,” said Maryland midfielder Taylor Cummings. “It’s one of the greatest rivalries not only in women’s lacrosse but in college sports. We’re going to celebrate tonight and then tomorrow we’ll try to figure out a way to beat a really good Carolina team.”
Maryland took control of the game early playing well in all aspects of the game. After breaking a 1-all tie the Terps scored nine of the next ten goals to take a 10 – 2 lead with 3:56 remaining to halftime. Seven Maryland players scored in the run and only two scored more than one goal, midfielders Taylor Hensh and Jen Giles.
“It was very important that we came out and attacked all over the field,” said Maryland Coach Cathy Reeves. “We wanted to step out on the field with good energy.”
Syracuse made a run in the second half getting to within 11 – 6 on goals by attackers Kayla Treanor and Nicole Levy. Maryland answered with five consecutive goals and led by double-digits at 16 – 6 with 16:43 to play. Cummings scored three times in the decisive run and attacker Megan Whittle twice.
Overall offense came from many sources for the Terps. Whittle, Cummings, and Hensh all contributed four goals, Midfielder Zoe Stuckenberg put three into the net. Giles scored twice. The contributors made the Maryland offense formidable.
“We’re lucky enough that we have seven people on the field that can score,” Cummings said. “At the beginning, they were shutting off Meg, Zoe and I, and that allowed the four other people to have so much room to work. They were able to create space for themselves and put the ball in the back of the net. When you have everyone score it opens everything up.”
Syracuse committed 57 fouls in the game compared to 15 for Maryland. It showed how well the Maryland defense played led by defender Alice Mercer.
Attacker Riley Donahue led the Orange with three tallies in addition to two by Levy and attacker Halle Majorana. With 11 draw controls senior Kayla Treanor set a new NCAA Division I single-season record with 217, surpassing Robert Morris’ Jessica Karwacki previous mark of 216 set in 2014.
“I feel very fortunate to play on such a talented team, and I think that is what helped me get the record,” Treanor said about setting the draw control mark. “Thank you to coach for allowing me the opportunity to take some draws.”
Cummings notched career draw control number 500, only the third NCAA player to reach that plateau.
This is the fourth straight year that Syracuse and Maryland have met during the NCAA Championship weekend. Maryland won them all. The Terps return to the championship game for the fourth straight season winning all but the 2013 title tilt to North Carolina.
And it is a rematch.
Written By: Glenn Papazian