In College Park, they don’t rebuild—they reload. In keeping with that theme in 2012, Maryland made their 20th appearance in the NCAA semifinals since the tournament began in 1983. Coach Cathy Reese guided her well-oiled machine to an overall 19-4 record. Midfield sensation Katie Schwarzmann continued to take the college game by storm as she was awarded with the most prestigious award in the collegiate lacrosse game. The Tewaaraton Trophy winner returns in 2013 alongside a slew of talent as Maryland continues to make history as one of the most prestigious program in all of women’s Division I athletics.
Though All-Americans Brittany Dipper and Karri Ellen Johnson bid adieu to their college careers last May, Maryland remains one of the nation’s early favorites to take it all in 2013 — a feat not many programs would be able to say after losing such talent. The Terps return four of their top five scorers in Schwarzmann, Alex Aust, Brooke Griffin and Kelly McPartland. Additionally, Reese welcomes one of the nation’s top recruiting classes. As the Terps embark on their quest for a national title, it’s seemingly par for the course in College Park as the Terps are shaping up to be one of the nation’s best this season.
Five Things To Know
They Return Leadership… Everywhere
In 2013, Maryland returns All-American leadership on the offense, in the midfield and on the defensive end of the field.
A year ago, Alex Aust was a breakthrough player for the Terps after the graduation of Aussie Sarah Mollison. The offensive quarterback led her team in points (96) and assists (52) after somewhat quiet freshman and sophomore campaigns. Racking up an ACC Tournament-record 17 points and 13 assists, Aust is primed for yet another All-American performance in 2013.
Through the midfield, Katie Schwarzmann returns as one of the top midfielders in the nation in her senior season. Schwarzmann running alongside Griffin, McPartland, Glaros & Co. stacks up to be a scary line for any team to face in 2013. Add in heralded rookie and Inside Lacrosse’s overall No. 1 recruit Taylor Cummings to the mix, the Terps midfield line is shaping up to be extremely dangerous this spring.
Lastly, Iliana Sanza returns to lead the Terrapin backline this season. A 2012 first-team All-American and Defensive Player of The Year, Sanza led the Terps in ground balls (46) and caused turnovers (33) while sitting third on the team in draw controls (35).
With the graduation of four-year starter Brittany Dipper, Maryland’s glaring "hole" to fill is in the net.
"We have two highly competitive goalies on our roster this year," coach Cathy Reese says. "They have been working hard all season and competing for the starting spot. They both bring different strengths to the table."
Those options Reese is referring to are senior Kasey Howard and red-shirt sophomore Abbey Clipp. Both saw very little playing time in 2012. Howard, who saw action in five games a season ago, has nearly a 50% save percentage during her career in College Park. Meanwhile, Clipp has only seen action in four contests during her time as a Terp.
Though both goalkeepers enter 2013 with little experience, the Terps return ample aptitude in front of them. Defensively, Sanza leads a unit that contained the likes of Duke, North Carolina and Loyola a year ago. Through the midfield, Schwarzmann and McPartland are top-notch defensive midfielders with the ability to make plays in transition. As Howard or Clip (or a combination of both) work to find their rhythm in net for the Terps early this spring — the experience in front of them should ease any nerves.
Welcome To College Park
Taylor Cummings’ arrival in College Park continues to make headlines as she was named the nation’s top freshman in this fall’s Inside Lacrosse recruiting issue. The 2012 Under Armour All-American game MVP and four-time IAAM champion at McDonogh headlines a class poised for greatness during their tenure for Maryland. A show-stopping midfielder, expected to see immediate playing time for the Terps this spring, Cummings has made a seamless transition into the college game.
"Taylor is an amazing athlete. She will make an immediate impact for us as a midfielder," Reese says. "She is a strong defender, fast in the midfield and very smart on the offensive end. She will also step up and take the draws for us this season."
Welcome Back To College Park
In the off-season, Reese announced that All-American and 2010 Tewaaraton Trophy winner Caitlyn McFadden would be returning to the Maryland lacrosse family.
"Caitlyn has such pride for the University of Maryland. We are thrilled to have her back on our sidelines," Reese says.
Recently named a member of the World Cup squad that will represent the U.S. in Canada this summer, McFadden spent her past two seasons under Coach Mandee O’Leary in Gainesville, Fla. A lights-out, do-it-all midfielder, the former college All-American helped guide Florida to an overall 19-3 record a year ago.
"She is helping with all aspects of our game," Reese explained. "Primarily with our offense, she brings great experience from her playing days as a Terp."
They’re Used To Playing [Read: Winning] With A Target On Their Back
Each and every time Maryland steps on the field, their opponents know it’s going to be a game. A perennial powerhouse in the sport of lacrosse, Maryland’s produced some of the game’s all-time greats. The Terps have won a collegiate lacrosse-record ten national titles. One of the most storied programs in the NCAA, they return enough ammo to do it again in 2013.
As the Terrapins embark on another title quest this spring, they enter knowing that each match they enter a team is looking to put together their best effort in competition. In knowing that, Maryland embraces the notion.
In saying it all, their chances look good. Very, very good.
Katie Schwarzmann, Midfield, Senior
It’s no surprise here that the Terrapins’ best bet is All American Katie Schwarzmann. The decorated, do-it-all middie has been noted by a number of Division I coaches as the top midfielder in the country. Recently named to the 18-player squad that will represent the U.S. in the 2013 World Cup, Schwarzmann’s speed and athleticism set her apart. Her ability to spark plays on the defensive end is rivaled by her expertise on the offensive end. A key player for Maryland since she step foot in College Park, Schwarzmann’s primed for quite the successful spring.
Coach Reese on Schwarzmann: "I think Katie is the best midfielder in the country. She has great athleticism and speed and leads our team on both ends of the field."
"She works very hard and leads by example. The team looks up to her as a two-year captain."
Kelly McPartland, Midfield, Sophomore
A teammate of McFadden and Schwarzmann’s on the national team, Kelly McPartland was the youngest player to play for the U.S. during the Stars & Stripes Champion Challenge in Orlando, Fla. A feisty midfielder who is just as solid defensively as she is offensively, Kelly finished with 48 points during her rookie campaign.
"Kelly has been a very strong midfielder for us," Reese says. "As a freshman year starter, she got stronger and gained more confidence each game. She is a very good defender, as well, which sometimes can be overlooked."
Game To Watch
Maryland vs. North Carolina, April 6th
The pair of ACC foes met twice a season ago, splitting the games 1-1. As two of the most athletic, exciting teams to watch in Division I, the Maryland vs. UNC rivalry is always a game to circle on your schedule. Featuring two of the most electric middies in the nation in Kara Cannizzaro and Schwarzmann and two of the top attackers in the game in Abbey Friend and Aust, UNC is one of the few teams to have Maryland’s number in recent years. Undoubtedly, this is a game to watch and could likely be a preview of an ACC Tourney matchup come late April.
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