Another year, another Memorial Day Weekend watching Maryland lacrosse teams play in the Final Four. Both squads picked up wins over the last two days, and will head to Championship Weekend with the chance to win a second straight national title.
The women’s team was the first to punch its ticket with a 17-15 win over Navy on Saturday. The Terps jumped to an early 8-3 lead, and looked to be cruising to a 10th straight Final Four. The Midshipmen had other ideas, going on a 7-1 run to take a 10-9 lead at halftime and led by three goals with as little as 15 minutes remaining. Down 14-11 with 18:08 left, though, Maryland scored six goals in nine minutes down the stretch to seal the victory.
Up next is No. 4-seed Boston College, who the Terps beat 16-13 in the national championship last year. Despite Kenzie Kent, who shredded Maryland for five points and five assists in last year’s game, redshirting this season to play a whole season next year, the Eagles have turned from a Cinderella into a contender. They finished the regular season undefeated, and their only loss came against North Carolina in the ACC tournament final.
Boston College beat Princeton and No. 5-seed and previously undefeated Stony Brook to advance to the Final Four. The latter was a matchup between two teams at the top of the rankings for much of the season, and the Eagles rallied in the second half to send the game into overtime, where Sam Apuzzo found Dempsey Arsenault for the game-winner. Those two have powered the Eagles this season. Apuzzo has 81 goals, 37 assists, 43 ground balls, 31 caused turnovers and 145 draw controls, while Arsenault has 59 goals, 34 assists, 58 ground balls, 29 caused turnovers and 102 draw controls.
Maryland and Boston College will square off Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET at Stony Brook, and the game will be streamed on ESPN3.
The men’s team followed suit Sunday with a 13-8 win over Cornell. The Terps never trailed, and used a six-goal second-half run to put the game out of reach. Maryland also shut down All-American attack Jeff Teat, opting to shadow him the whole game instead of defending him straight-up.
This will be the Terps’ fifth straight trip to the Final Four and seventh in eight years under John Tillman. They too will meet an old ACC rival, as No. 4-seed Duke beat No. 5-seed Johns Hopkins, 14-9, in the second quarterfinal game in Annapolis. The Blue Devils started the season at the top of the rankings and have a lethal attackman in Tewaaraton finalist Justin Guterding, who has 61 goals and 43 assists. It’s the first Final Four appearance for Duke since reaching eight straight from 2007 to 2014.
Maryland is 6-2 against Duke under Tillman, including wins in the Final Four in 2011 and 2012. However, the two teams haven’t played since the Terps joined the Big Ten in the summer of 2014. The game is scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m. ET at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, and will be broadcast on ESPN2.
In other news
Here’s The Washington Post on men’s lacrosse freshman Bubba Fairman, who did this on Sunday.
Women’s lacrosse’s Caroline Steele is living up to the family legacy, writes Bill Wagner of The Baltimore Sun.
Kevin Huerter and Bruno Fernando are currently participating in the NBA Combine, and Huerter’s performance is generating a lot of buzz.
It’s graduation weekend in College Park, so here’s some pictures of Maryland athletes taking part in the festivities.