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Maryland WLAX torches William and Mary in opener, 15-5

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The defending champs started their season in dominant fashion on Sunday afternoon in Williamsburg, VA.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Baby It's Cold Outside

Today's weather wasn't optimal to say the least. The temperature was in the 20's and the wind was blowing around 20 miles per hour. When the Terps took the field to start the 2014-2015 season, it felt like it was 11 degrees outside.

Maryland came into the game having won 16 straight against the Tribe and they pasted them in College Park last season, winning 19-3. William and Mary went 4-12 last season.

First Half

Lehigh transfer Alex Fitzpatrick got the start in goal for the Terps. She will be competing for the starting job with Emily Kift but seems to have the upper hand at the moment since she got the start.

It took the Terps 25 seconds to get on the board. Taylor Cummings, the reigning Tewaaraton award winner, put it away to score Maryland's first goal of the season. Megan Whittle, the top-ranked women's lacrosse recruit coming out of high school, scored her first ever goal for Maryland in her first ever game a mere handful of seconds later. She added another one shortly after off of a nice feed from last year's ACC Rookie of the Year, Zoe Stukenberg.

Stukenberg added a goal off of an eight meter at the 27:03 mark and the Terps led 4-0 just a few minutes into the game. Stukenberg added another goal off of a free position just before the 25 minute mark to give Maryland a 5-0 lead. William and Mary made a change in goal, putting Alex Lista in. It didn't matter who was in goal for the Tribe as Taylor Cummings scored less than 30 seconds after the change in goal. Kristen Lamon scored less than 20 seconds after that off of a Brooke Griffin feed and it was ugly quickly. The Terps had scored seven goals on their first eight shots and showed no signs of slowing up at all.

Maryland's Kelly McPartland promptly scored a free position goal and Meredith Crizer went back into goal for the Tribe. William and Mary finally got on the board with a free position goal from Jenks. Maryland denied Shannon Quinn as she tried to score off a free position but Zoe Boger scooped up the loose ball for William and Mary and scored to make it 8-2.

The Tribe looked a lot better after they switched back to having Crizer in goal. The Terps were very sloppy on the offensive end, turning the ball over repeatedly. William and Mary added their third straight goal as Abby Corkum finished the counter attack that started off of a Maryland turnover in the William and Mary third. Kristen Lamon came from behind the cage and stopped the bleeding with a nifty goal. That gave her two on the day and gave Maryland a 9-3 lead. Quinn was denied on an eight meter attempt as she tried to answer back for the Tribe.

Abby Junior got carded for a slash and Maryland was up a person on the field. They couldn't convert and the Terps turned it over again. Quinn missed on another free position attempt and Maryland took it back up the field before turning it over yet again in the Tribe third. Maryland got their 10th goal with a little over four minutes remaining in the half as Megan Douty fed Stukenberg, who fired a shot into the net to earn a first half hat-trick. Cummings earned a hat-trick of her own 40 seconds later to put the Terps up 11-3. Maryland had a chance to add another goal right before the half but they couldn't get a good look at the goal.

Maryland out-shot William and Mary 15-8 but the Terps scored an absurd 11 times on those 15 shots for a shooting percentage of 73 percent. Stukenberg led the way with eight points in the first half by virtue of her three goals and two assists. Maryland had an uncharacteristic nine turnovers in the first half. The final 30 minutes of the game was a lot like the first half of play in terms of how Maryland continued to dominate on both ends of the field.

Second Half

Maryland scored less than 40 seconds into the half as Brooke Griffin finished off an easy look which came from a very pretty pass courtesy of Stukenberg. Shanna Brady added a free position goal to push the lead to ten just four minutes into the half.

Cummings had a great individual effort to get her fourth goal of the game, running to the left, going across her body and shooting low. Emily Kift was in goal for the Terps to start the second half and she gave up a free position goal to Mckinley Wade. Ellen Shaffrey cut the deficit to single digits as she scored from the right side about midway through the second half. Maryland's Casey Pepperman answered within a minute with her first goal of the season to push the lead back to ten. Kift made a couple of nice saves and neither team scored in the last 14 minutes.

Recap

Maryland won 15-5 in a performance that was dominant but far from perfect. Maryland forced 18 turnovers but had 16 turnovers of their own. They played an uncharacteristically sloppy game and they will have to get it fixed before they take on the second ranked UNC Tar Heels next week in their home opener. Maryland put up 25 shots and put 21 of them on goal. They were solid on the defensive side of the ball but the biggest concern of the game for Maryland was definitely the turnovers. Much of that can probably be attributed to the fact that it was the first game of the year but make no mistake, Maryland cannot afford to turn the ball over 16 times against UNC next week and expect to win.

Taylor Cummings and Zoe Stukenberg were super-efficient. Neither one missed on Sunday with Cummings going four for four and Stukenberg going three for three. Cummings added nine draw controls and Stukenberg tallied three assists (she scored a game high nine points).

Up Next

The second ranked Tar Heels are up next for the Terps. They come to College Park next Saturday and are 3-0 on the year, having beaten James Madison, the third ranked Florida Gators and High Point. This should be one of if not Maryland's toughest game of the year because UNC was Maryland's only loss last season and the season before that. That's right. Maryland has only lost twice in the past two seasons and both of those losses came at the hands of the Tar Heels. This will be the first time that Maryland takes on UNC as a member of the Big Ten. Next week it will be #1 vs. #2 in one of women's lacrosse's best rivalries.