Sunday was a lovely day in College Park – mostly sunny, temps around 70, and a light breeze. It was also a lovely day if you’re a Terp. Three of the spring sports I cover were in action on Sunday and all three posted relatively easy wins.
The women’s lacrosse team celebrated the careers of a stellar seven player senior class in the final regular season home game taking down the Ivy League’s Dartmouth Big Green by a final score of 17-8 and earning their 47th win in 48 games at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex in front of a crowd of over 1100.
Dartmouth controlled the opening draw and immediately committed an unforced turnover tossing a pass over the end line. Maryland was unable to capitalize as Dartmouth’s goalie saved an opportunistic shot out of the crosse of Taylor Cummings. The visitors successfully cleared to the offensive end and held the ball for a long nearly four minute possession before finally attempting a shot from straight on that senior Kasey Howard saved. The Terps needed just twenty-four seconds to get on the scoreboard as Cummings made up for her errant first shot scoring off a pass from Kelly McPartland. Katie Schwarzmann’s unassisted goal on Maryland’s subsequent possession just 40 seconds later doubled the Terrapin lead to 2-0. Dartmouth controlled the draw and attempted a quick shot this time from Howard’s right but she was again up to the task and the Terps moved the ball quickly into the scoring zone. Cummings had an excellent chance from straight on but her shot sailed high. However, on the restart, Schwarzmann quickly found McPartland and in the space of two minutes, Maryland had a 3-0 lead.
The visitors again controlled the draw and attacked quickly but Howard deflected the shot from her left over the sideline. Howard mad another fine save after the restart but then made an errant pass on the attempted clear turning possession back to the Green. The turnover led to Dartmouth controlling the ball for nearly five minutes and they finally found the back of the net to bring the score to 3-1. Erin Collins controlled the next draw for Maryland but the Terps turned the ball over trying to move into the attacking zone. Once again, Howard was stalwart in the net thwarting another Big Green shot. The Terps countered quickly on the clear but Schwarzmann’s shot went high. Cummings was fouled on her attack from the left and on the free position chance flicked the ball to Alex Aust who easily ripped the net for a 4-1 Terrapin lead. After a Dartmouth turnover, Kristen Lamon had her low shot blocked but she retrieved the ground ball and got it to Brooke Griffin behind the net. The sophomore from Edgewater hit a flashing Aust who scored her second straight goal to propel Maryland into a four goal lead at 5-1. Darmouth made a bit of a comeback scoring two straight to close to 5-3. Their goal with eight and a half minutes left would be their last of the half. The Terps, however, were not through scoring.
The sixth Terrapin score of the half came from the crosse of Cummings who drew another foul and elected to take the free position shot herself. Maryland pushed the lead back to four when Schwarzmann’s shot hit the post but Griffin found herself in the right place at the right time and picked up the carom and scored easily. Dartmouth controlled the draw but the Terp defense forced backwards passes eventually to the goalie who came far out of the crease and held the ball for twenty seconds or so before attempting a pass in the middle third that McPartland intercepted, raced downfield behind the Big Green defense and easily ripped home her one on one chance. The score stood at 8-3 Maryland until, with just over three minutes left in the half, as Schwarzmann found freshman Halle Majorana on a nice set piece to give the Terps a 9-3 lead they would carry into halftime.
The Terps reached double digits early in the second half when a Dartmouth defender, seemingly preoccupied with getting physical with Beth Glaros opened a gap in the defense that Schwarzmann quickly exploited and the lead was seven. Dartmouth scored quickly to cut the lead back to six but after saving a point blank shot by Lamon, the Big Green goaltender failed to learn a lesson from the first half and again carried the ball into the middle third. This time Schwarzmann intercepted the pass and found Glaros streaking ahead but the junior’s shot hit the post. Schwarzmann picked up the carom and eventually Aust made a dodge from the right to score an unassisted goal. Dartmouth would then score back to back goals for the second time in the game cutting the lead to 11-6 after a Terrapin turnover. Fortunately for Terp fans, Maryland has Alex Aust and the senior from Sterling completed her second hat trick of the game – this one a pure hat trick scoring goals four, five, and six in succession in a three minute span to give the Terps their largest lead of the game to that point at 14-6. Dartmouth scored the next goal but after a penalty put the Terps a player down, the Terps not only killed the penalty but scored as McPartland found Grffin. With 11 minutes remaining, the Green had a chance to pull within seven on a free position shot but Howard picked up another sterling save and found Alice Mercer who outraced Dartmouth’s defense and found Majorana for another easy score giving the Terps a lead of nine. Dartmouth scored to make the score 16-8 with just over five minutes to go in the game. With two and a half minutes remaining, Dartmouth picked up a yellow card and Maryland Coach Cathy Reese called a timeout. The Terps used the man advantage to run a play for Camilla Hayes The senior from Kent, England responded scoring the second goal of her Maryland career and the Terrapins closed out the home portion of their 2013 season with a 17-8 win. Maryland closes out the ACC and regular season traveling to take on Virginia Tech in Blacksburg on Saturday.
When I walked into Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium, it was the top of the sixth the Terps baseball team was clinging to a 1-0 lead in their effort to salvage one game in the three game series against the Miami Hurricanes. The Terps had scored in the bottom of the third on a bases loaded sacrifice fly off the bat of LaMonte Wade. The precarious lead evaporated shortly after I walked into Shipley Field. Starter Jake Stinnett retired the first two Hurricanes in routine fashion but a hit batter, a stolen base and a double to left tied the score. Stinnett retired the side with no further damage. The Terps bounced back in the bottom of the sixth to recapture the lead. Wade got things started with a line drive single to left. Anthony Papio tried to move Wade up with a bunt but his sacrifice attempt floated in the air leaving Wade hung up between first and second and the Canes were able to pick up the lead runner with Papio reaching on the force out. On a run and hit, Greg Olenski pulled a ground ball single through the hole between third and short. Despite the running start, Papio held at second. K.J. Hockaday lashed a line drive single to shallow left loading the bases with just one out. Jack Cleary laid a perfect bunt down the first base line that the pitcher was unable to field. The bunt single scored Papio and kept the bases loaded. Jose Cuas tried to duplicate Cleary’s effort but bunted a bit too hard to first base and Olenski was forced at home. With the bases still loaded and Blake Schmit at the plate, the Hurricanes pitcher uncorked a wild pitch allowing Hockaday to score and moving the other two runners up a base as well. Schmit hit a soft grounder toward the hole between first and second and beat the first baseman’s toss to the pitcher for an infield single picking up an RBI as Cleary scored on the play. At the end of six, the Terps led 4-1.
At one point, the Miami seventh had an eerily similar feeling to their sixth. Stinnett retired the first two batters but gave up a two out single. After a stolen base, a feeling of déjà vu arose. Stinnett issued a walk but got the final out on a soft liner up the middle that was easily handled by Schmit.
Brandon Casas came on to start the eighth in relief of Stinnett for the Terps. He gave up a run on a one out double, a stolen base and a two out single to right. Ultimately, he preserved the Terrapin lead at 4-2. The Terps put the game away in the home half of the eights. Olenski started things off with a lead off walk. Anthony Amaro came on as a pinch runner after a throwing error by Miami’s third baseman on Hockaday’s bunt single. Continuing the small ball theme, Cleary laid down a bunt up the first base line and was thrown out pitcher to first. He picked up an RBI on the play as Amaro scored and Hockaday moved up to second. Hockady took third on Jose Cuas’s fly ball to deep center and scored on Schmit’s double into the left field corner. He moved to third on a wild pitch. Centerfielder Charlie White, after falling into an 0-2 hole, worked the count back to 2-2 and laced a ground ball past a diving Hurricanes first baseman into the right filed corner for an RBI double and the Terps led 7-2. Kevin Mooney came on to mop up in a three up and three down ninth and preserve the win for Stinnett. The Terps have back top back mid week games traveling to Richmond to take on VCU on Tuesday and returning to College Park to face Mt. Saint Mary’s on Wednesday.
Down in Atlanta, the Terrapin softball team accomplished something they hadn’t achieved in several years. They won a series from Georgia Tech taking the rubber match on Sunday with a 14-5 run rule thumping of the Yellow Jackets. The Terps got things going early when Amanda McCann led off with a walk and moved to second on Sara Acosta’s ground out. Freshman shortstop Lindsey Schmeiser laced a single to right driving in McCann and taking second on the throw to the plate. With two out, Candice Beards doubled off the fence in center to drive in Schmeiser. Beards came around to score on Lexi Carroll’s ground single to right and the Terps led 3-0 after the top of the first. That lead would not survive the bottom of the inning as the Jackets bounced back with three of their own tying the score. In a game to take this – no take that – Maryland scored tgwice in the top of the second as Schmeiser homered to left with one out and Acosta on second that latter having reached that position on a single and a passed ball. The home team cut into the lead with a single run of their own in the bottom of the second bur Maryland now had a lead at 5-4 that they wouldn’t relinquish.
The Terrapins continued their offensive onslaught scoring twice more in the third this time without a hit. The inning opened with back to back walks to Melissa Mancuso and Juli Strange. After Bridget Hawvermale lied out to short, the runners advanced on McCann’s grounder to second. Sara Acosta also hit a ground ball to second the Tech second baseman muffed the play allowing Acosta to reach and Mancuso to score on the play. After a four pitch walk to Schmeiser, Strange scored on a wild pitch with Shannon Bustillos at the plate. The two runs gave Maryland a 7-4 lead after three and a half. Freshman Maddie Martincame on in relief of Kaitlyn Schmeiser to start the third and recorded the first scoreless half inning of the game. With no Tech scoring to respond to, the Terps also went scoreless in the top of the fourth. So, to inspire her teammates to reactivate their bats, Martin gave up a lead off home run in the bottom of the fourth but got out of the inning still leading 7-5. The Terps responded to Martin’s unusual motivational ploy with a vengeance exploding for seven runs in the top of the fifth. Admittedly, they got some help from Tech pitching as Strange, Hawvermale, and McCann walked consecutively to start the inning. Maryland scored their third consecutive run without benefit of a hit when Acosta forced McCann at second knocking in Strange. The Terps continued to score and the big blow of the inning was Lexi Carroll’s two run homer to left. Martin retired the side giving up one hit in the fifth and the Terrapins nine run advantage ended the game improving Maryland to 7-5 in the ACC and bringing the within one game of .500 at 22-23. Boston College comes to College Park for a three game series beginning with a double header on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.
Todd Carton (AKA FHFAN)