The Maryland women’s lacrosse walked onto the field for Saturday’s match up with the North Carolina Tar Heels with two goals. The first, set by coach Cathy Reese was to come out on the long end of the score and preserver their number ranking and undefeated season. The second, set by the sports marketing department was to squeeze over two thousand patrons into the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex. When they walked off the field, they had accomplished both missions downing the Tar Heels 14-13 in front of 2,347 fans in a game that was worthy of a one versus two matchup.
North Carolina controlled the opening draw and began by running their offense at a deliberate pace. After about two and a half minutes, they eventually worked their way for a clear opportunity from close range but, in what would become something of a pattern, goalie Kasey Howard came up with a stellar stop. The Terps cleared successfully and did not spend much time probing the Tar Hell defense. Instead, they got the ball to Katie Schwarzmann at the top of the circle and she quickly deked her defender slicing through UNC and putting the Terps up 1-0. Carolina controlled the draw and this time scored quickly to knot the score at one. Both teams then caught a case of turnover-itis that ended when the UNC goalie intercepted a pass that led to Carolina’s second score and first lead. After a save by UNC on freshman Taylor Cummings’s free position shot, Howard came up with two big saves of her own one on a free position by Carolina and one after making a high pass that sailed out of bounds on a clear attempt. The next Terrapin clear succeeded but Maryland was called for an illegal screen but the Terps defense forced an immediate turnover and Brooke Griffin found Cummings crossing in front from behind the cage for the equalizer. This time Maryland controlled the draw and attacked quickly but Cumming’s shot sailed wide. However, on the restart Griffin got the ball to Aust and the Terps had retaken the lead. Maryland extended its lead to 4-2 just 31 seconds later as Griffin picked up her third consecutive assist with Kirsten Lamon netting the score. A Carolina time out not only slowed the Maryland momentum but energized the Tar Heels who ran off three consecutive scores despite some more stellar work by Howard in the net. Erin Collins forced a turnover after another Tar Heel draw control and made a quick pass to Schwarzmann who passed ahead to Cummings who brought the Terps back to even at 5-5. Schwarzmann picked up the ball on the next draw, bolted downfield, ran out of an attempted double team and, just 12 seconds after having tied the score, put the Terps back in front with about six minutes left in the half. A minute and a half later, UNC tied the game at six but Schwarzmann, with a move that echoed her first goal attacked from the top and put Maryland ahead. The seesaw battle continued as Carolina scored twice to take and 8-7 lead. But with just over a minute to play in the half, Maryland ran an isolation play for Schwarzmann freeing her up after a solid screen and the senior delivered with her fourth goal of the half knotting the score at eight and leaving the two squads equal at the half.
The second half got off to a bit of a rough start for Maryland. After a Carolina foul on the draw, Cummings found Kelly McPartland behind the UNC defense of a one on one opportunity but the sophomore’s shot hit the post. Eventually, the Tar Heels would draw first blood scoring with about twenty-six minutes to go and taking a 9-8 lead. The Terps tied the score at nine on an unassisted goal from Beth Glaros who made a Schwarzmann-like attack from the top. After Maryland failed to convert a free position chance, the Heels came back but Howard came up with another big save on a shot from close range. The Terps cleared and on the next offensive set, rather than passing from behind the net as she had in the first half, Griffin attacked and scored to put Maryland ahead 10-9. The Terrapins opened up their second two goal lead of the game two minutes later on a free position score by Glaros. Cumming then took things into her own hands, controlling the draw and racing downfield through the Carolina defense to score just nine seconds later. The three goal lead felt large but over twenty minutes remained in regulation. UNC scored quickly off the subsequent draw to cut the Terrapin lead down to two. After a few minutes of back and forth, Schwarzmann notched her fifth score of the game finding the top left corner of the net after she made a dodge from the top, drew a double team, backed off and attacked as soon as the double teaming defender turned her back. Although Carolina would score to close to within 13-11, the next few minutes of game play belonged to Howard who made a terrific save on a low shot attempt and another on a shot from close range after the Terrapin defense had blocked a Tar Heel free position. Taylor Cummings fourth goal of the day on a free position and the Terps a player up after a yellow card on UNC with just over seven minutes to go would prove to be the ultimate game winner. Carolina would score twice more to close within one but Cummings was able to control the crucial final draw with 3:29 to go and the Terps were content to run out the clock and end UNCs winning streak at eleven. Maryland moves to Ivy League competition for their next two games as the 7-3 and #14/18 ranked Princeton Tigers come to College Park on Wednesday followed by the Dartmouth Big Green.
Down in Raleigh, the Terrapin softball squad started their three game set with the 17-17 (3-6) NC State Wolfpack. Game one of the scheduled double bill was a pitcher’s duel with the Terps besting the Pack by a final of 2-1. State got on the board first with lead off home run in the home half of the third. The Terps wouldn’t threaten until the top of the fifth when they put two runners on but failed to score. Sophomore pitcher Kaitlyn Schmeiser settled in and got to the bottom of the fifth before the Wolfpack mounted a scoring threat getting a runner to third with one out but Schmeiser buckled down and kept the Pack from scoring. The Terps broke through in the top of the sixth when Amanda McCann led off with a line drive single to right. She moved to second on a passed ball and to third on Sara Acosta’s ground out to first. The Wolfpack then elected to issue an intentional walk to freshman Lindsey Schmeiser who stole second. The two runners scored on catcher Shannon Bustillos’s double to left center. Freshman Maddie Martin entered the game in relief of Schmeiser and held the Pack at bay earning a save and securing the Terrapon win.
Martin started the second game for the Terps and once again the home team struck first scoring two in the bottom of the third and added another in the fourth. The Pack scored a run off Kaitlin Schmeiser who had come in in relief of Martin in the fourth and the four run lead was sufficient as the Terps fell 4-0. Maryland and NC State face each other in the rubber match Sunday at 1:00 pm.
A report on the evening activities - baseball and the performance the Terps gymnastics team in the NCAA Regionals will follow later.
Todd Carton (AKA FHFAN)