Just a warning my recap tonight is mostly based on reconstructions from web sources and some sketchy descriptions from the FHFAN network and watching pieces of the soccer replay on ESPN3. I was at the first half of the women’s game against Mt. St. Mary’s and then off to a local eatery to watch the game against Kentucky. So let me start with WBB.
In her post game comments, Coach Frese clearly kept a positive spin on last night’s performance. As a fan and observer, I have to say I was a bit underwhelmed by what I saw in the first half. These Terps are talented and experienced but I thought I saw areas where they will need to improve to compete against some of the top level competition they have coming up. This might sound strange given that the Terps went into halftime with a 25 point lead eventually winning by forty-one. Given the caliber of opponent those types of margins should be expected from the number 5 team in the country.
With about eight and a half minutes left in g the half, the Mountaineers had managed to hold the Terps to only 18 points and were within four. The Mount appeared to run their offense smoothly and had a number of good looks at the basket that they missed largely because of a dearth of talent. On the offensive end, Lauren Mincy is clearly going to need some time to adjust to filling the point guard slot opened by Moseley’s ACL tear as the Terps struggled a bit against MSM’s zone. (BTW – backup center Essence Townsend tore her ACL in the exhibition game so we might need to find and destroy the god of ACL injuries.) At that point, the Terps used their superior size and athleticism to go on a 15-4 run over the next four minutes and from that point forward it was essentially game over.
Tianna Hawkins, who goes to the glass like Charles Mitchell on the men’s side led the Terps in scoring with 18 on a typically efficient night shooting 8-11. She added 10 boards with 8 coming on the offensive end for her 25th career double-double. Alicia DeVaughn also had a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds and reigning ACC POTY Alyssa Thomas chipped in with 14 and 7. The Terp freshmen played well with Malina Howard showing she has the potential to be a force on both ends of the floor with 12 points 7 rebounds and 2 blocks. Tierney Pfirman gained confidence as the game wore on chipping in 9 points and 6 boards and Chloe Pavlech ran the team well for her first game contributing 3 assists with only one turnover. As a team, Maryland share the ball well with 25 assists on 37 baskets and only turned the ball over 16 times. The Terps will take on Loyola in Baltimore Sunday at 7:00 pm.
In Charlottesville, the volleyball team ran off its third consecutive win and fourth in its last five taking care of UVA in straight sets. From the reports and the box score, it looks as though only the first set was competitive featuring 27 ties and 10 lead changes before the Terps pulled it out deep in overtime 32-30 taking advantage of back to back UVA errors – one service error followed by an attack error. To that point in the set, the Terps had managed two point leads at 7-5 and 9-7 while Virginia never had a margin greater than one point.
The Cavaliers came out of the gate quickly in the second set scoring the first three points before the Terps were able to get on the board with a kill from Ashleigh Crutcher. Maryland tied the score at four and it looked like the second set was shaping up to be much like the first. With the score tied at 10, Kelsey Hrebenach went back to serve and the Terrapins rand off four straight in a sequence that featured back to back kills from Adreene Elliott. After UVA closed to within three at 17-14, Maryland ran off six of the next eight points largely behind the serves of Amy Dion and Sarah Harper stretching their lead to 23-16. Adreene Elliott’s fifth kill of the set closed things out with the Terps taking a 25-18 victory and a two sets to none lead into the break.
Maryland charged out of the locker room scoring first off a UVA service error. The home team would tie the score on a Terrapin service error but that was as close as they would get as the Terps tool a 5-1 lead on some strong serving by Mackenzie Dagostino. The Cavs would get within one at 16-15 and 18-17 but after a kill from Crutcher opened the lead up to two, they were able to bracket the set with 6 straight points with Dagostino serving and seal the set with a final score of 25-17 and take the match three sets to none.
Ashleigh Crutcher led Maryland with 14 kills and a solid .357 hitting percentage just behind Elliott’s team leading .457. Mackenzie Dagostino had 22 assists while senior Remy McBain added nineteen. Amy Dion and Sarah Harper shared the team lead in digs with 9 apiece. Next up for the Terps a 6:00 pm Saturday match in Blacksburg against the Virginia Tech Hokies.
After picking up some impressive individual hardware earlier this week with Sasho Cirovski picking up his third coach of the year award, six Terps earning all ACC honors and Patrick Mullins taking home offensive POTY, the Terps took to the pitch to face off against Clemson in the ACC semi finals at the Montgomery SoccerPlex in Gaitherburg. Clemson, facing what was a do or die game with regard to any NCAA hopes, came out solidly pressing the attack into the Terps zone for much of the first 10 minutes. Maryland appeared to by playing less aggressively than one would come to expect and Clemson’s effort to control the pace and flow of the game paid off with the games first goal coming off a long diagonal pass, centered to the far post and headed into the goal. The Tigers would take that lead as well as statistical advantages in shots 7-4 and corners 3-0. None of Maryland’s four shots were on goal.
Clemson had a good chance to extend its lead early in the second half but Terrapin goalie Keith Cardona was able to come up with the big save in the 48th minute. Another attack by the Tigers in the 50th minute resulted in a shot that sailed just high. Maryland generated its first great chance in the 62nd minute on a long pass to Schillo Tshuma that he was able to track down in the box but the Clemson defender was able to get just enough of a foot on it to allow the goalie to make the save. Tshuma’s run seemed to ignite the Terps who began attacking with the ferocity Maryland fans have come to expect. A strong cross from Sunny Jane provided another opportunity in the 66th minute with three Terrapins and 2 Clemson defenders near the goal but The Terps were unable to knock it in. Christiano Francois got behind the Clemson defense and also had an opportunity to generate the equalizer but hesitated just enough for the Tigers to recover and clear the ball. The Clemson goalie made a fingertip save on a blast by Helge Leikvang from 25 yards. The Terps were unable to capitalize on either of the two corners that followed. All the pressure finally paid off as Maryland finally gained the equalizer in the 84th minute when Jake Pace got the ball to Tshuma in the corner who redirected a touch pass to Mullins. Mullins was able to turn quickly and blast a shot from 5 yards into the right corner.
The game would remain tied through the end of regulation and the first overtime and the possibility of a second semi final shootout loomed as the game entered the second overtime but a well developed attack involving several Terp players would lead to a Tshuma pass in the box to Jake Pace whose shot would be knocked over the baseline by a Clemson defender. On the ensuing corner, Leikvang’s entry would be tipped of Tshuma’s head onto the back of a Clemson defender and into the goal to give Sasho his 300th win and send the Terps into Sunday’s final against North Carolina.