When the Maryland women's lacrosse team announced their 2014 schedule a few days before Thanksgiving, one could imagine that the players might have circled the game at Duke, or perhaps the game at Syracuse. And it surely wouldn't strain credulity to think they might even have placed some focus on the game coming up in two weeks at North Carolina. On the other hand, March 22, 2014 might have had a big bulls eye on it for the James Madison Dukes. Certainly, the two teams played as though that was the case and though the Terps escaped Harrisonburg with a 13-10 win, the Dukes were the more intense and focused team.
The game was a case of JMU using a hot goalie and solid defense to find ways to stymie the Terrapins offense while attacking quickly when they had the chance or working patiently and efficiently when they had to run their offense. The Dukes put 15 of their 19 shots on goal and scored on ten. The Terps also managed to put nearly all of their shots on goal (25 of 29) but JMU goalie Schylar Healy, who entered the game with a .408 save percentage, transposed the last two numbers and saved .480 percent of the shots Maryland launched at her.
The game got off to a typical Maryland start with Taylor Cummings controlling the draw and Maryland going quickly on the attack. Kelly McPartland found Zoe Stukenberg in space and the freshman scored to put the Terps up 1-0 exactly two minutes into the game. However, the second sequence was, in many respects, something like a movie trailer for the rest of the game that followed.
Madison controlled the draw, something they would do only eight times on the day, they took a relatively quick shot that Maryland had backed up. The Terps cleared successfully and Kelly McPartland drew a foul for Maryland's initial free position attempt of the game and this is where the sequence became predictive. Healy saved the free position attempt, the Dukes countered quickly and scored the tying goal.
As they often do, the Terrapins also had a quick response with Stukenberg ringing up her second score of the game off another McPartland assist and needing just a minute and a half to do so. But rather than seeing the outburst that the Terps have so often provided this season, the opposite occurred. JMU picked up their second draw and this time it was Maryland's Abby Clipp who came up with the save on a free position.
On the counter, the Terps had another free position chance but Taylor Cummings, whom the Dukes held scoreless, turned the ball over, and again, James Madison found space in Maryland's defense on their counterattack to score and tie the game. Healy made another save on a shot by Beth Glaros and in what became something of a pattern the Dukes turned things around quickly and scored to take a 3-2 lead with nineteen and a half minutes to play in the half.
From this point to the end of the half, it looked as though the Terrapins had wrested control of the game. Glaros scored the equalizer on a free position two minutes after JMU had taken the lead. Although the defenses held sway for the next nine minutes, the Terps had several opportunities to recapture the lead but Healy made a save on a shot by McPartland, Kristen Lamon turned the ball over on a free position, and the post made a save on a shot by Glaros. The Terps finally broke through with eight and a half minutes to play when Glaros notched her second of the game with the assist coming from Halle Majorana.
Over the next eight minutes, Clipp and Healy traded saves and the two teams traded turnovers. With thirty-eight seconds to play in the half, Kelly McPartland had an open patch of grass and a good angle from the left side of the eight meter and scored on a free position. But the Terps weren't quite done. With crisp passing form McPartland to Glaros to Erin Collins, Maryland scored their fourth in a row - this one coming with six seconds to play and the Terrapins had a 6-3 halftime lead.
Maryland's run continued at the start of the second half. Beth Glaros picked up the ground ball on the opening draw and fifty-four seconds in completed her hat trick extending the Terps' run to five and their lead to four at 7-3. But the Dukes simply wouldn't go away. They scored following a Maryland turnover to cut the margin back to three.
McPartland was fouled on the ensuing draw and on the restart, found a streaking Brooke Griffin behind the JMU defense and in just 33 seconds the Terps again led by four. Yet again the Dukes fought back scoring to stay within three at 8-5. With 18:47 to play, JMU's Leah Perrotta picked up a yellow card and with 18:44 to play she was released from the penalty after McPartland scored her second of the day. Twenty-one seconds later, Collins scored her second and the Terps reached double digits and had a 10-5 lead - their largest of the day.
But in a replay of what had been happening all day, James Madison simply didn't yield to Maryland's pressure. The Dukes came back with three goals in six minutes - two from Betsy Angel and one from Stephanie Finley to make the score Maryland 10 James Madison 8. And Madison was plenty fired up.
Fortunately for Maryland fans, the Terps had the lead and more talent. Glaros again picked up the gauntlet for her team scoring off an assist from Jen Mendez. After Madison answered again to cut the lead back to 11-9, Lamon and McPartland scored for Maryland giving the Terps a four goal cushion with six minutes to play. After a timeout, JMU controlled the draw and scored quickly needing just 31 seconds to reach double digit scoring. Brooke Griffin controlled the next draw and the Terps effectively ran out the clock to hold on for the 13-10 win.
The Terps are now 11-0 on the season and return to the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex at College Park to face another CAA foe the Towson Tigers. The game is schedule for Wednesday March 26 at 7 pm.