The Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) named its three All-American teams Tuesday afternoon. Sixteen players were named to each squad. The good and unsurprising news is that Maryland led the way with six players honored. The better news is that only one Terrapins All-American is a senior.
Four Terps earned first team honors while Maryland placed one player each on the second and third teams. With two each, Syracuse and North Carolina were the other schools with more than one player named to the first team.
The First Team
Leading the way for the Terps on the IWLCA first team were their two Tewaaraton Award finalists - Taylor Cummings and Megan Douty. Attacker Brooke Griffin and leading points scorer Kelly McPartland joined their teammates on the first team.
Kelly McPartland bona fides
When Kelly McPartland flashes past her defender to the goal, Maryland's opponents are simply green with envy. Heading into the Final Four, McPartland is tied for second in goals scored for the Terps with 57 and her 31 assists lead the number one team in the nation. Maryland is the only school with three players in the NCAA's top fifteen in goals scored and one of them, McPartland, is also in the top twenty-five in assists. (Pun watch: Kelly McPartland ----> green with envy.)
Brooke Griffin bona fides
A quiet attacker who, rather than babbling, lets her crosse do the talking, Griffin is McPartland's equal with fifty-seven goals. However, her .655 shooting percentage shows she is selective and deadly in choosing her scoring opportunities. The redshirt junior adds twenty-one assists for 78 total points. Griffin has had something of a target on her back since her ten goal five assist performance that included a breathtaking seven goals in the semifinal against Virginia and earned her the Most Valuable Player Award in the ACC Tournament. (Pun watch: Brooke Griffin ----> babbling.)
Megan Douty bona fides
Okay, this pun watch is a softball: As a Tewaaraton Award finalist there could be no Douty about Megan's appearance on the first team. The junior is the anchor of a defense that has allowed a mere 7.86 goals per game. Douty's defensive statistics are solid though not eye popping. She has 33 ground balls and 19 caused turnovers which are good for second and third respectively on the team. She is most effective neutralizing the opponent's top scorer and this intangible quality, while hard to quantify, certainly raises the level of her teammates' play. Despite frequently being matched against the top opposing offensive threat, Douty has gone about her business while committing only sixteen fouls.
Taylor Cummings bona fides
Maryland's other Tewaaraton finalist is perfectly suited to her role as a Terrapin. She is a player who simultaneously dominates nowhere and everywhere. Yes, her 59 goals lead Maryland but that total is only tenth best in the country and thirty-second in per game average. She's handed out 23 assists with is good for second best on Maryland and tied for forty-ninth in the country. In raw numbers, her 116 draw controls, while by far the best on Maryland, are fifth best nationally and at 5.27 per game ten players in the nation top her. Cummings leads Maryland in ground balls with 35 - a number not good enough to crack the NCAA top fifty. Her thirty caused turnovers top the Terps but at 1.36 per game, you again have to go to page two of the NCAA statistics to find her. Cummings dominates Maryland's statistics the way she dominates the middle of the field in nearly every Terrapins' game. When all is said and done, she's probably the best player in the country. (Pun watch for those not paying attention: Taylor ----> perfectly suited.)
The Second Team
Beth Glaros bona fides
A fierce competitor who will stare you down, the only senior in Maryland's IWLCA All-American contingent, is fourth on Maryland in goals scored having found the net 47 times. And, while this scoring was likely the main contributing factor in her selection, her value to the Terrapins is measured as much in the hustle plays she makes as in the goals she scores. She's second on the team in draw controls and is also among the leaders in ground balls. Glaros rarely leaves the field at the end of a game without a bloody or bruise somewhere. (Can you fill in the pun watch? Take a good long look. It's in there.)
The Third Team
Alice Mercer bona fides
Those who watch Maryland's defense know that when the second leading cause of opponents' turnovers get the ball in her crosse, she can turn on the jets and ruthlessly out race everyone to the opposite end of the field. (Fun reader's pun poll - this was the setup. I could have gone with mercer-lessly to replace ruthlessly or had something to do with racing and a Mercerdes Benz. Your choice. Or, third choice, I could have just left them both alone.) Mercer, who has 28 ground balls to go with her 20 caused turnovers, is probably the Terps' most physical defender and something of an enforcer on the back line.