A Look Back at Maryland's Spring Season

Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE

Men's and women's lacrosse entered their seasons with high expectations while baseball and softball opened their slates with both hope and a number of question marks.

With nine seniors on the roster and coming off back to back national championship game appearances, Maryland's men's lacrosse team looked to bring a national championship back to College Park for the first time since 1975. They were ranked second in the pre-season polls and vaulted to the top spot after defeating Loyola 12-10 in a rematch of the 2012 final. The Terps backed that up with a 16-7 thrashing of eventual national champion Duke in an early March game at Durham. They ran their record to 6-0 before dropping a 10-8 decision at home to North Carolina but bounced back with road wins at Virginia and Navy before falling into a pattern of alternating wins and losses over the last five games as, with the exception of an 18 goal outburst against Colgate, their offense stagnated failing to reach double digits in any other game. In what several weeks earlier might have been considered a likely national championship game, Maryland faced off against a hot Rob Parnell and Cornell team that executed extremely well and ended Maryland's season by handing them their most lopsided loss of the year denying the Terps and Coach John Tillman a third consecutive trip to the Final Four. Individually, Jesse Bernhardt, John Haus, and Niko Amato earned All-ACC honors. Bernhardt and Haus were named first team All-Americans while Mike Ehrhardt joined Amato on the second team.

Coming off the third thirty win season in the program's history, the possibility of coming out of the always tough ACC with their first NCAA appearance since 1971 was not an unreasonable hope for Terrapin baseball. The Terps had to adjust to the distinctly different style and personality of new head coach John Szefc and had to rely heavily on the freshman class after early season injuries to senior Jordan Hagel and power hitting first baseman Tim Kiene. With a 9-12 record in one run games, Maryland was achingly close to that coveted NCAA breakthrough as ten of the twelve losses came in ACC play. Had they been able to turn three or four of those into wins they would likely have finished eighth in league play and earned a berth in both the ACC and NCAA Tournaments. Still, the Terps finished with 30 wins - reaching that mark in back to back seasons for the first time in program history. The Terps also finished with 11 wins in ACC play - the most since that 1971 year. Individually, Jimmy Reed and Charlie White were named second team All-ACC. Reed was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the sixth round of the MLB draft. White stole 39 bases eclipsing the previous Maryland single season record by six. Reed, Kyle Convissar and Jake Stinnett made the ACC All-Academic baseball team.

Faced with the graduation of last season's workhorse starter, Kendra Knight, pitching was the biggest question mark for Maryland softball as they entered the 2013 season seeking a fourth consecutive NCAA bid. The Terps had a potential star in Kaitlyn Schmeiser but the sophomore from Northern High in Dunkirk was coming off back surgery and backing her up were two freshmen, Madison Martin and Brenna Nation. Nation lost most of her season to illness and senior outfielder Sara Acosta stepped in as the Terps third pitcher. Maryland's early season schedule, featuring tournaments in Florida and California, was loaded as they faced ten NCAA Tournament teams. Although the Terrapins competed well - dropping one run decisions to UCLA, Cal, and Mississippi State, those early season losses coupled with a relatively weak mid-season out of conference schedule, and an average league in the ACC that left them with an RPI around ninety made the return to the NCAA a hill that proved too steep to climb. The Terps finished with a 31-26 record overall and their 13-8 league record tied them with North Carolina for third place in the league. Freshman Lindsey Schmeiser set a Maryland single season record with 59 RBI was named the Freshman of the Year in the ACC and was the only Terrapin representative on the All-ACC first or second team. Amamda McCann, Kaitlin Schmeiser, and Shannon Bustillos earned spots on the All-ACC Academic softball team.

The Maryland women's lacrosse team enters every season expecting to compete for a national championship and the 2013 squad was no different. Featuring a lineup loaded with veteran stars such as Katie Schwarzmann, Alex Aust, and Iliana Sanza and up and comers such as freshman Taylor Cummings, Coach Cathy Reese's squad was primed and ready but they would fall one goal short of perfection. The Terps roared through their regular season schedule finishing a perfect 17-0 and only being challenged by three goal win at Towson and a 14-13 squeaker over North Carolina at College Park. The Terps traveled to Chapel Hill to defeat Virginia and UNC en route to their fifth consecutive ACC Tournament championship. Maryland hosted the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament defeating Stony Brook and Duke to make their fifth consecutive trip to the Final Four. After edging Syracuse in the semi final, the Terps faced off against the Tar Heels for the third time in the season - this on with a national championship on the line. In an epic back and forth struggle that resulted in the longest championship game in NCAA history Maryland dropped a 13-12 triple overtime thriller to North Carolina. Alex Aust, Taylor Cummings, Brooke Griffin, Ilie Sanza, and Katie Schwarzmann were named first team All ACC and all but Griffin also won All-American honors. Terrapins also swept the individual awards with Schwarzmann winning Offensive Player of the Year, Sanza being named Defensive Player of the Year, Cummings was the Freshman of the Year and Reese Coach of the Year. In addition, Schwarzmann repeated as the Tewaaraton award winner. The Tewaaraton is essentially lacrosse's equivalent of football's Heisman Trophy so this is quite an accomplishment for the senior from Sykesville.

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