The Maryland Terrapins and the Syracuse Orange women's lacrosse teams met for the third time in the 2014 season with the highest stakes to date. In the end, the Terps proved that if you're the better team, you can indeed win three straight. Maryland claimed their first National Championship since 2010 at the same site as their last title this time defeating the Orange 15-12 in the highest scoring championship game in history.
A Maryland blitz
Things started well for Maryland with Taylor Cummings winning the opening draw. After an aggressive Syracuse ride in the midfield, the Terps cleared and Erin Collins circled from left to right and found Kristin Lamon open for the bounce shot and the Terps took a 1-0 lead just forty-three seconds into the game.
A Syracuse foul on the second draw gave Maryland another opportunity and after a high shot off a pass on a free position, senior Beth Glaros came straight through the Orange defense going high with 28:33 to play and a quick 2-0 Terrapins lead.
Casey Pepperman picked up the first contested ground ball on a draw and Cummings made the Orange pay dodging from the right through three Syracuse defenders, switching hands and shooting low to put the Terps up by three. But the Terps weren't done with their opening blitz. Cummings won another draw and Kelly McPartland launched a pass from the eight meter to Lamon for the junior's second goal of the night. A patented Kelly McPartland dodge from the left past her defender following another Cummings draw win made the score 5-0 four minutes and twenty seconds into the game.
Ebb and Flow
Then the game took a sudden turn toward the Orange. They won two draws and scored on both possessions with the first goal coming from Syracuse's leading scorer, Kayla Treanor and the second coming from Amy Cross to get back into the game narrowing the gap to 5-2. Though Maryland won the next draw, Cumming was called for a charge. However, the Terps defense stifled Kayla Treanor causing a turnover and with 18:39 left, Maryland had regained possession.
The possession didn't last long at the Terps turned it back in the middle of the field. String defense by Nadine Hadnagy on Alyssa Murray forced her to give the ball up to a closely guarded Cross and Abbey Clipp picked up the save on her high shot. Cummings drew a four from Treanor but her free position hit the shaft of Orange goalie Alyssa Constantino and Treanor rang up her second goal of the night closing the gap to 5-3 and Maryland's scoreless stretch extended to over thirteen minutes.
The game tightened further. After Collins picked up the draw, the Terps worked their offence back to her but Constantino came up with a second straight save. Alyssa Murray the beat Alice Mercer one on one and with 9:42 to play the Orange were within one at 5-4.
Flow and Ebb (Still no Kander)
A media timeout gave the Terps a breather and when the teams returned to the field, Cummings had the answer. She won a high draw and charged straight down the field through the Orange defense and scored in nine seconds to end a sixteen minute Terrapins scoring drought.
Constantino picked up a save on a free position attempt by Zoe Stukenberg but Glaros picked up the groundball and drew a yellow card on Liz Harbeson. Glaros bounce home the ensuing free position for her second goal of the night and fiftieth of the season.
Clipp picked up a save on the next Orange possession and Cummings picked up a hat trick with a side arm bouncer past Constantino. With 5:24 to play, Maryland's lead was back to four at 8-4.
From Red to Orange
The Orange, after nearly two and a half minutes of possession ended Maryland's three goal run with a free position score by Bridget Daley. The flow continued back toward Syracuse as they won the draw and Katie Webster took a run through a Terrapins' defense that parted like the Red Sea to pull the Orange back within two.
Maryland's lone starting senior, Beth Glaros joined Cummings with a hat trick scoring with 46 seconds left in the half. The Terps had one final chance to score after gaining the last possession but McPartland had her shot blocked.
This time the Orange scored first two and a half minutes into the second half on a spectacular shot by Murray. Once again, Maryland had the answer. Cummings won her seventh draw of the game and cut along the goal lone through two Orange defenders and passed across the crease to Brooke Griffin for the one timer.
After Syracuse won the draw, it was time for the Terps defense to step up. They did just that forcing a turnover from Katie Webster. Griffin picked up her second consecutive goal - this time on a pass from Stukenberg putting a bouncer past
Constantino (correction Kelsey Richardson).
And the did it again. After another draw win by the Orange, the defense again created a turnover and again, it was Griffin who made them pay the ultimate price. After Harbeson picked up her second yellow card earning a disqualification, Griffin scored on the extra man opportunity to put the Terps up 12-7.
A third straight defensive stop led to a fourth straight Maryland score. This time it was Lamon who joined Griffin, Glaros, and Cummings with hat tricks. Lamon did a pirouhette in front of the Syracuse goal and scored putting the Terps up by six. (Correction: the spin move belonged to Brooke Griffin.)
The run ends but
The Orange finally scored to end a 9:54 second scoring drought. picking up a rebound after Clipp made her third save. On the next Syracuse possession the Terps covered a high Orange shot. Glaros, determined to go out in style, scored on another Maryland EMO and the Terps again led by six at 14-8.
Maryland won the draw and Syracuse picked up their fourth yellow card of the game. The Terps worked the ball patiently and eventually, drew another foul. It was Glaros with the free position and the senior knocked down her fifth goal of the night - the third most scored by any single player in a championship game. Maryland led 15-8 and was 11:02 from claiming the National Championship.
On ice or on edge?
After Zoe Stukenberg's shot hit the post, the Orange were called for a foul on the attempted clear. The call so upset Syracuse coach Gary Gait that he joined the yellow card parade. Maryland failed to capitalize and Katie Webster ended another extended Syracuse scoring drought with a clever shot from the right alley to pull the Orange within six at 15-9. Just over seven minutes remained.
Syracuse picked up the draw and Webster drove past Pepperman for a wide open shot. The score stood at 15-10 and 5:41 remained. The Terps again couldn't control the draw and Amy Cross picked up her third goal of the game. Maryland's lead had been cut to four with 5:05 to play.
After a Maryland timeout, a Maryland foul on the draw led to a fourth consecutive Syracuse goal. Senior Alyssa Murray mad the one on one move to beat her defender and Clipp. The goal, making the score 15-12, also made the game the highest scoring championship game in NCAA history. Danger time continued for the Terrapins as the Orange won yet another draw.
A turnover on a long pass attempt brought a loud cheer from the heavily Maryland crowd. The Terps ran some time off the clock as Syracuse began to chase on defense. The squads traded turnovers and the Terps were able to run out the clock and hold on for the 15-12 win and the National Championship.