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NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Tournament 2017 preview: Maryland faces Stony Brook in quarterfinals

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Two of the best in the country face off with a chance to go to the Final Four.

NCAA Lacrosse: Women's Semifinal - Syracuse Orange vs. Maryland Terrapins Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

After a convincing victory over High Point in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, Maryland women’s lacrosse will have its hands full in the quarterfinals. The Terps play No. 8 Stony Brook, a team with a 20-1 record that has dominated most of the competition it’s faced. The Seawolves only loss came against No. 3 Florida in Gainesville by a score of 22-14.

This game will feature five 50-goal scorers, three Tewaaraton finalists, two tremendous goalkeepers and one trip to the Final Four on the line. The game will begin at noon on Saturday, and will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network and BTN Plus.

No. 8 Stony Brook Seawolves (20-1)

Head coach Joe Spallina. Spallina owns a 103-19 record in his six seasons as the Seawolves head coach. He’s already the winningest head coach in program history and has won a game in the NCAA Tournament for the fifth straight season after Stony Brook’s victory over Bryant. Spallina also led a successful coaching tenure at Adelphi University, going 73-2 and winning three straight NCAA D-II titles in his four years there.

Players to Watch

Kylie Ohlmiller, 5’3, attack, No. 17. A Tewaaraton Award finalist, Ohlmiller has been nothing short of outstanding for Stony Brook. She leads the country with 157 points 82 assists — 27 more assists than second place. Additionally, her 75 goals rank third in the nation. For Maryland to win this game, it has to find a way to stop Ohlmiller, arguably the best attacker in women’s lacrosse this season.

Taryn Ohlmiller, 5’7, attack, No. 21. The younger of the Ohlmiller sisters has been tremendous in her freshman season. Taryn enters Saturday with 98 points, currently seventh in the nation, and 62 goals, which ranks in the top 20. She has scored a hat trick in each of her last six games, totaling 29 goals over that span. Any time an Ohlmiller has the ball, Stony Brook feels confident about that offensive possession.

Anna Tesoriero, 5’5, goalkeeper, No. 31. The sophomore has been Stony Brook’s starting goalkeeper since the first game of her freshman year. After a having a .500 save percentage last year, Tesoriero responded with a .484 save percentage this year, good enough for No. 16 in the country. She’s played every minute of every game and only allowed double-digit goals four times, including twice in her last 15 games.

Strengths

Pretty much everything. Stony Brook has been strong on both ends of the field this season. The Seawolves are scoring 16.29 goals per game, which ranks third in the country, and only allow seven goals per game, which is best in the country. Stony Brook also ranks in the top 16 for draw controls per game, free position percentage, turnovers per game, shot percentage and caused turnovers per game.

Weakness

Ground balls. The team averages 17 ground balls per game, just No. 78 in the nation. However, that is still better than Maryland, as the Terps are 90th in the country with 16.25 per game. Don’t expect there to be many ground balls in this one.

Three Things to Watch

  1. Nadine Hadnagy vs. Kylie Ohlmiller. This will be a battle of two of the five Tewaaraton finalists and arguably the best offensive and defensive players in the nation. Hadnagy has shut down some of the best playmakers in the nation, including High Point’s Samantha Brown last week, but Ohlmiller is on another level this year. It is not often that two Tewaaraton finalists meet in the tournament, let alone directly battle with each other all game.
  2. Megan Taylor vs. Anna Tesoriero. Maryland has only faced two goalies with a save percentage better than Tesoriero’s, and hasn’t had much trouble with them. Taylor is coming off an easy victory where she took a half off, while Tesoriero has been in a groove for the past month. For comparison, both goalkeepers have played Northwestern twice this season: Tesoriero allowed 14 total goals on 30 shots against the Wildcats, while Taylor has allowed 15 goals on 40 shots.
  3. Another top-five matchup. This will be Maryland’s 13th game against an opponent that was ranked at one point this season, and Stony Brook’s eighth. Additionally, Maryland is 4-0 against top-five teams this year, outscoring opponents 64-39, while Stony Brook is 1-1 in those games, having been outscored 28-24.