The second ranked (or third ranked depending on your poll preference) Maryland Terrapins women's lacrosse team traveled to Syracuse to take on the third ranked (or second ranked depending on your poll preference) Syracuse Orange. The Terps went into the game a perfect 7-0 on the season (1-0 in the ACC). The Orange also entered the contest unbeaten at 6-0 and, after opening with wins at Virginia and Boston College, had drawn Maryland as their first home conference foe. In a tense battle, the Terps kept their undefeated season in tact with a hard fought 12-10 win.
The game started inauspiciously for the Terps with Syracuse taking the opening draw and scoring 1:54 into the game. However, Maryland responded quickly taking less than two minutes first to tie the game and then take their first lead. The first Terrapins' goal came from freshman Zoe Stukenberg with the assist going to Kelly McPartland. McPartland picked up the assist again finding Halle Majorana for the go ahead score.
Next it was the Orange who would respond with back to back goals of their own. Ten minutes after the Terps had taken the lead, Syracuse got the equalizer when their star Kayla Treanor scored an unassisted goal. A minute and forty-eight seconds later the Orange got the go ahead goal and took a 3-2 lead with 14:51 to play in the half.
The game of runs continued. First, Beth Glaros picked up the draw and raced downfield to get the Terps even just eleven seconds after Syracuse had gone ahead. Erin Collins put Maryland in front again netting the Terps' fourth goal with a bit over twelve minutes to play. Rather than facilitate, McPartland decided it was time for her to take matters into her own hands a minute later scoring to give the Terps a 5-3 lead.
After a Syracuse timeout, the home team regained their footing and scored to halve Maryland's lead. With just over seven minutes to play McPartland scored again on a free position to reestablish the Terrapins' two goal lead at 6-4. In what had been a bad sign, the Twitter feed slowed. It proved to be so again. Syracuse scored with six seconds to play in the half but the Terps took a slim one goal 6-5 lead into the break.
Coming out of the break, it took all of 17 seconds for Maryland to regain their two goal advantage and again, it came from McPartland. The junior from Farmingdale, NY picked up the draw and went down the field to score and complete her hat trick. But the game that had begun with the teams going on mini runs had now evolved into a punch - counter punch contest as Syracuse scored with 27:10 to play to again pull within one.
The teams exchanged goals again with Brooke Griffin scoring for the Terps and Treanor netting a free position for the Orange. With the score at 8-7, Maryland put together back to back scores. Fifty-two seconds after Treanor's goal, Stukenberg made her way through three Syracuse defenders to again put the Terps up two. Within a minute, Taylor Cummings found the net for the first time in the game with a score that gave Maryland a three goal cushion.
Syracuse senior Katie Webster fought through a tough Maryland defense to score her second of the night with 12:43 to play bringing the hosts back to within two at 10-8. Cummings got the ensuing draw to Glaros and the Terps worked the ball patiently until drawing a foul. But Cummings missed the free position when her shot sailed high. Though Maryland had the shot backed up, the Terps turned the ball over. This time, the Maryland midfield defense stepped up and forced a Syracuse turnover and foul. Maryland made Syracuse pay for the error in the form of Erin Collins who notched her second of the night on a pass from Stukenberg who collected the assist. With ten minutes to play the Terps' lead was again three at 11-8.
A draw violation by the Orange gave Maryland possession and the Terps worked the ball patiently with the clock now as much the opponent as Syracuse. But with just under eight to play, the Orange caused a turnover and cleared successfully. A stout Maryland defense forced Syracuse to use nearly two minutes but the Orange successfully converted a free position and the lead was again two.
Cummings got the draw to Collins and the Terps again worked the clock. The Terps nearly turned it over but a Syracuse violation left Maryland with possession. The turnover came with four minutes to play and after two Terps fouls and a successful clear Syracuse coach Gary Gait called a timeout. A wide Syracuse shot backed up by Maryland gave the Terps possession with under three and a half to play. The Terps cleared successfully, held the ball successfully for about a minute when Beth Glaros circled from behind and put in what appeared to be the dagger.
Up to this point, Taylor Cummings and the Terps had dominated the second half draws winning eight of ten. With 2:12 to play, Syracuse won their third draw of the half and turned into Maryland as they got the ball quickly to Treanor who scored in just 10 seconds. With two seconds over two minutes to play Maryland's lead was back to two at 12-10. Syracuse again won the draw and drew a quick foul but declined the shot on the free position. Another Maryland foul gave Syracuse another free position chance but the shot went wide.
The Orange backed the shot up giving Treanor one last opportunity with 1:13 to go but Abby Clipp came up with the big save. The Terps cleared and ran out the clock to escape the Carrier Dome with the 12-10 win. Kudos go to Megan Douty for holding Treanor, who entered the game with 23 goals and 15 assists to just five shots on goal and Alice Mercer, Casey Pepperman, Nadine Hadnagy who kept a potent Syracuse offense in check to help Maryland move to 8-0 on the season.
Saturday, The Notre Dame Fighting Irish come to the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex at College Park for a noon face off.