After a dominant 21-goal performance against Boston College, Maryland women’s lacrosse has a short turnaround as they face No. 4 Syracuse this weekend. The last time these two teams faced, Maryland cruised to a 19-9 victory in the NCAA semifinals. The Terps have beaten the Orange 20 of the 21 times they’ve met.
The game will be broadcast on BTN Saturday at 1 p.m. ET.
No. 4 Syracuse Orange (7-0)
Head coach: Gary Gait. In his 10th season as head coach of the Orange, Gait has a total record of 150-48. A former lacrosse standout at Syracuse himself, Gait won three championships as a player. He was also an assistant coach at Maryland from 1995-2001, when the Terps won seven straight championships.
Players to Watch
Riley Donahue, 5’4, Attack, No. 17. Donahue is the Orange’s leader in points with 24 and assists with 11. The junior’s 13 goals is tied for second on the team and she is the only attack on the team to collect double digit ground balls.
Natalie Walton, 5’4, Midfield, No. 15. Walton has been a force in the middle for Syracuse, as she leads the team with 19 ground balls and 12 caused turnovers. She’s also pitched in with eight goals, three last week, and seven draw controls, which is tied for the team lead.
Defense. Syracuse has only allowed double digit goals twice all season, allowing only 8.14 goals per game, which is tied for 10th in the country. With Maryland coming off an explosive offensive performance, this will be a matchup of two units playing at the top of their game.
Turnovers. While Syracuse has been great so far this season, they have been somewhat careless with the ball. They are averaging 17.71 turnovers per game, tied for 58 in the country. This is an area of which the Terps need to take advantage to take down an undefeated team.
Three Things to Watch
- Maryland is on a short turnaround. The Terps win over Boston College Wednesday was their first weekday game this year. Having only two days to prepare for a top five team isn’t an ideal scenario, especially since Syracuse has had since Sunday to prepare.
- The Terps will fire at a freshman goalkeeper. Syracuse’s hot start is in big part thanks to Asa Goldstock, whose first collegiate season has been impressive. Her .505 save percentage is top-20 in the country, but she struggled last week, allowing 15 goals on 21 shots.
- Can Maryland continue its top-five dominance? In the last three years, the Terps are 7-0 when they’ve played a top-five team during the regular season. This is the second of likely three top-five match ups for the Terps, as they also face No. 3 Florida in College Park later this month.