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On to the Final Four Terps 15-8 win leaves Devils blue

The Terps advanced to their sixth consecutive Final Four behind stalwart goalkeeping by Abbey Clipp and five goals from Taylor Cummings and hat tricks from Beth Glaros and Kelly McPartland.

Terps in action against Duke in NCAA quarterfinals
Terps in action against Duke in NCAA quarterfinals

It was a familiar spot for the Maryland Terrapins and Duke Blue Devils womens lacrosse teams: An NCAA quarterfinal game in College Park on the third Saturday in May. The weather was familiar: Cool, breezy and a mix of clouds and sun. The coaches were familiar. For Duke, Kerstin Kimel graduated from the University of Maryland in 1993 with a degree in speech communications. For Maryland, Cathy Reese graduated from the University of Maryland in 1998 with a degree in speech communications. And the result was familiar result as the Terps advanced to championship weekend with a 15-8 win over the Blue Devils.

From the top

The Terps took the opening draw on a good crash into the circle by Beth Glaros who was playing for the last time at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex but they turned the ball over on a lazy pass. However, the solid Maryland defense bounced right back forcing a turnover on Duke's first possession. That turned that into the first score of the game when Beth Glaros took a pass from Kelly McPartland and scored while taking a hard hit.

The foul on the shot created a free draw and a man-up opportunity for the Terps. They worked the ball for a shot by Kristen Lamon who saw her effort hit the post. Maryland goalie Abbey Clipp picked up a save on Duke's first shot but the Terps failed to clear and Maddy Morrissey picked up the equalizer for the Blue Devils.

Maryland's response

It took the Terps only twenty-two seconds to recapture the lead. Glaros again picked up the ground ball on the draw. Erin Collins, cutting from the top, took the feed from Brooke Griffin and hit the one-timer. Glaros then picked up her third draw of the game and nineteen seconds after Collins' goal, Taylor Cummings picked up an unassisted score extending the lead to 3-1.

After a timeout, Duke won their first draw of the day and scored after a patient possession to close to within a goal. Cummings got the next draw to Erin Collins and again, starting the offense from behind the goal, ran a double crossing play with Zoe Stukenberg cutting from right to left and Lamon coming straight down the right alley. Lamon took the pass from Griffin and found the net inside the far post.

Maryland extended the lead to five two on their next possession. Again Glaros picked up the draw. Taking the ball aggressively into the eight meter arc, Glaros drew a foul. She took two steps on the free position and bounced the shot past Duke goalie Kelsey Duryea. Duke picked up the next draw but again the Terrapins' defense created a turnover that resulted in another Maryland score. And again it was Cummings. This time the sophomore found the net after a double spin move putting the Terps up by four.

A small shift

With the score at six two, Duryea picked up her first save of the day and it gave the Devils a bit of momentum. Duke's leading scorer Kerrin Maurer found the net making the score 6-3. The momentum carried over as Duke won the next draw.

The teams traded turnovers and Clipp picked up her third save of the game on a Blue Devils free position. On the ensuing possession the Duke picked up their second yellow card of the game but again, the Terps failed to get off a shot turning the ball over and allowing Duke to kill the penalty.

Closing the half

Once again. Clipp made the big save. On Maryland's possession, Duryea was up to the task for the Blue Devils and picked up her fourth save on a bouncing attempt by Lamon. After another turnover created by the Terps' defense Maryland worked the ball around and when a Glaros dodge drew three defenders the senior found Griffin who uncorked a side arm shot from the left and the lead stood at 7-3.

The Terps won a disputed draw and worked the ball for just over a minute on offense. Stukenberg took a jab step and dodged inside the eight meter picking up a free position opportunity. She squeezed the shot just inside the left post under Duryea's elbow. Before the end of the half, Maryland picked up one more score to extend the lead to 9-3 just before the half. With six seconds left in the half, McPartland began her run at the goal from about twenty-five yards out on the right. She blew past her defender and bounced a one hopper past Duryea with two seconds left for the halftime margin.

Second half blitz

With Glaros and Cummings controlling the draws to start the second half, Maryland went on a three goal run in the first two minutes and ten seconds of the half. Cummings notched two of the three with the first coming on an assist from Stukenberg and the second on a free position. Kelly McPartland rang up the third in the sequence when Cummings controlled the draw making the long pass to Griffin who then found McPartland behind the Blue Devil's defense.

Duke answered with two straight with one coming on a man-up opportunity to close within 12-5 before McPartland picked up the draw and the terps ran an isolation play for Cummings who bounced her shot between Duryea's legs to end the Devils' momentum. Duke looked to regain the momentum but Maryland goalie Abbey Clipp put an end to those thoughts picking her sixth save on a shot by Maurer.

The Terps ran some time off the clock before Duke began to attack up high on defense. The slide out near the 30 meter line left room for another long run from McPartland down the left Alley and she netted a bouncer to put Maryland back up by nine. After a charging foul on Cummings Duke came back to ring the bell for their sixth score of the contest.

Griffin missed a chance to extend Maryland's lead back to nine when Duryea came out of goal as she had several times during the game was called for a foul leaving an empty net. However a Blue Devils' defender made a diving block on Griffin's low shot attempt. That left it to Glaros to score several  minutes later on a free position and the Terps led 15-6 just over nine minutes to play.

Wrapping it up again

From this point, the Terps were content to run the clock on each possession attacking only minimally. Duryea picked up a save or two, Maryland had some uncharacteristic turnovers, and Duke picked up two late goals to account for the final margin. The Terps will take on the winner of the game between Florida and Northwestern Friday night at Towson for the right to play for the NCAA Championship.