Maryland women's lacrosse used a strong first half to push past Johns Hopkins in the second round of the NCAA Tournament Sunday afternoon in College Park. The top-seeded Terps won 14-8 and will host UMass in the tournament quarterfinal next weekend.
Maryland had to rally to beat Johns Hopkins when the two teams met up in early April. When Dene` DiMartino converted a free position to put the Blue Jays up 1-0 just 1:29 into the game, it looked like Maryland might be in for another battle. Megan Whittle and the Terps had other ideas.
Whittle scored twice in a 4-0 run and, after two Emily Kenul goals brought Hopkins within one, keyed another 6-0 run. Whittle finished the first half with four goals as the Terrapins went into halftime with an 8-3 lead.
Taylor Cummings started the scoring in the second half just 24 seconds in. After Bryn Boucher followed that up over a minute later with her second goal of the game, Johns Hopkins went on a 3-0 run. Taylor Hensh and Cummings responded for the Terrapins by scoring goals a minute apart. Kenul scored two late goals for Hopkins, but Zoe Stukenberg and Boucher answered for the Terps. Kenul had four goals for the Blue Jays in the loss.
Johns Hopkins committed a jaw-dropping 44 fouls in the game. Fouls can disrupt not just an opposing team's flow and tempo, but their mindset as well. Cummings said that the Terps handled it well.
"We did a really good job of not letting the fouls make us rush or make us angry. We stayed composed and emotionally consistent. We were able to play our game. We weren't the smartest when we played our game today, [laughing] but we still played our game."
Megan Taylor had another solid outing in goal for Maryland. The Big Ten Goalie of the Year finished with eight saves and allowed eight goals.
Johns Hopkins didn't play a very good game. The Blue Jays turned the ball over 13 times and couldn't get a rhythm going on offense. Maryland (20-0) played a very good game, but not a great one. In the end, Maryland's big guns and high-pressure defense were too much for the Blue Jays to overcome.
"I loved our energy today," Maryland head coach Cathy Reese said after the game. "I loved every second of our energy from my breakfast at Bagel Place all the way through to our postgame. This is a really special group and they're an amazing group of people. We're just loving every second of it."
Survive and advance is the name of the game. The Terps are moving on. They are one step closer in their quest for a three-peat.
Three things to know:
1) Johns Hopkins had a lot of trouble with Megan Whittle in the first half.
Whittle scored four goals in the first half. She now has 65 goals this season after scoring 67 last year.
2) Maryland still has yet to play its best lacrosse
The Terps turned the ball over on silly mistakes. They turned the ball over 11 times and and tied on the draw control, 12-12. The defense had lapses and the offense looked out of sync at times. The Terps went 6-of-13 from free positions as they went into one-on-one on offense far more than they moved the ball around. Maryland only registered one assist on its 14 goals.
3) Taylor Cummings played like, well, Taylor Cummings
Cummings scored three goals and added three ground balls, four draw controls and four caused turnovers.