Maryland women's lacrosse begins postseason play in Evanston for the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament. The Terps lost in this round last year in what would be their only loss of the season. Friday night, they'll face a Rutgers team that they pummeled a month ago.
The Scarlet Knights upset No. 19 Ohio State in their first tournament game in double overtime last night to pick up their sixth win of the year. Maryland beat Rutgers by taking a lot of shots, outdrawing them and pressuring them into turnovers. The Terrapins were absolutely feeling it against Rutgers on that cold and rainy Saturday night. They jumped out to a 9-0 lead and took an 11-2 lead into halftime.
This team has too much firepower, and Rutgers doesn't have the offense or the defensive stoppers to win a shootout with Maryland. If the Scarlet Knights want to win this game, they'll have to win a large majority of the draws, limit their turnovers, and hold the ball on offense until they get high-percentage looks. Is that boring lacrosse? Absolutely. However, that is Rutgers' best and only hope of beating Maryland tonight.
The Terrapins are a well-oiled machine around this time of year. This team doesn't have many weaknesses on paper to start with, and they're an offensive juggernaut to boot. Eight different Maryland players scored against Rutgers in the first meeting, and six of them scored two or more goals.
If Maryland gets out to another fast start, this game will be decided relatively quickly. Head coach Cathy Reese would love to be able to give her starters a little extra rest knowing that she'll need huge minutes from them when the NCAA Tournament starts.
How to watch:
Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
TV: Big Ten Network
Team Twitters: @MarylandWLAX and @rulaxbrand