As part of our ongoing series to gear up for the spring sports, it's time to take a look at the 2014 Maryland women's lacrosse schedule but we'll start by glancing back. Last season the Terps finished 22-1 en route to winning an unprecedented fifth consecutive ACC Tournament championship and earning the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament coming just short of a national title when they fell to ACC rival North Carolina 13-12 in a triple overtime epic.
The Terps will have to replace several key players from the seven player 2013 senior class including two-time Tewaaraton Award winner Katie Schwarzmann, ACC Defensive Player of the Year Iliana Sanza, and Alex Aust the ACC's leading scorer in points per game (for the uninitiated, that's goals per game plus assists per game). However, Maryland is a program that reloads rather than rebuilds and the Terps will return plenty of firepower for the upcoming season. We'll preview all that firepower - and more - in detail as the season approaches.
As to the schedule, after starting with an exhibition against the U.S. National team, the Terps will travel up the road to Catonsville to officially open the season at UMBC in a Thursday afternoon game. They'll then open their home season with a two game home stand beginning the following Sunday, February sixteenth, when they host the Richmond Spiders. Their first true test should come when they travel to State College to take on 2013 NCAA qualifier Penn State. The Nittany Lions are the first of four non-conference foes on the schedule from last season's NCAA Tournament. In the other games, Maryland will travel to Penn and Princeton while hosting Towson.
For their final season of ACC play, the Terps will host ACC newcomer Notre Dame as well as Boston College before wrapping up the regular season with back to back home games against Virginia and Virginia Tech. After home games last season against Duke and North Carolina, Maryland's ACC swan song season will send them on the road to face those two traditional rivals. The Terps will also travel to Syracuse to tackle the Orange whom they last played in the 2013 NCAA semi-final coming away with an 11-10 win.
As they did for field hockey, Boston College will host the ACC Tournament on the last weekend in April. Campus sites will host the NCAA Tournament through the quarter finals and Towson will be the home of the 2014 championship rounds.