COLLEGE PARK – The University of Maryland’s women’s lacrosse team continued its perfect season of dominance after dismantling the University of Massachusetts during a rain-filled afternoon in College Park. The Lady Terps’ 18-3 win sets up a semifinal showdown with rival Syracuse for the fourth consecutive year in the NCAA Tournament. “We’re the No. 1 […]
COLLEGE PARK – The University of Maryland’s women’s lacrosse team continued its perfect season of dominance after dismantling the University of Massachusetts during a rain-filled afternoon in College Park.
The Lady Terps’ 18-3 win sets up a semifinal showdown with rival Syracuse for the fourth consecutive year in the NCAA Tournament.
“We’re the No. 1 ranked team. It’s easy to fall into a trap,” said Maryland junior captain Zoe Stukenberg. “We respect UMass and all week we were preparing for a powerful UMass team and we didn’t know exactly what to expect, but we were ready for anything.”
Recently named All-American Megan Whittle sparked Maryland (20-0) early with a hat trick in the game’s first 11 minutes of play where the Terps jumped out to a commanding 7-0 lead. From there they never looked back.
“We were going full speed ahead” said Maryland Head Coach Cathy Reese. “There’s a tendency where you do score a couple goals, maybe to have a lapse or two, and that’s something for us we wanted to eliminate. We wanted to make sure we had our foot on the gas.
“After every goal, we reset and looked to try to fight for the next one and fight to win the next play. When it comes down to it, we did that. Therefore, it equaled a running clock, and therefore, the time does kind of fall on your side.”
The remainder of the half was an absolute drubbing as the Terps took an insurmountable 13-1 lead into the locker room. UMass had no answers for the Terrapins on either side of the ball.
“It’s so fun to just come out firing,” Stukenberg said. “It sets the tone for everyone, for our team, and hopefully sends a message to their team also that we’re here to play.”
The second half was a cruise to the Final Four for the Terps as they continued to pour it on by adding five more goals with little contention from the Minutewomen, who fell to 20-2 on the season.
“We weren’t doing anyone a service, we weren’t helping anyone out, and we weren’t playing for our seniors if we were going to look past this UMass team,” Stukenberg said. “Everyone had the right mentality where we just needed to win this game, and then we can look to the Final Four.”
Maryland advances to play Syracuse for the fourth straight year, including the last two semifinal matchups. The Terps won each of their past four NCAA meetings by scores of 10-8 in the 2015 semifinal, 15-12 in the 2014 championship, and 11-10 in the 2013 semifinal. They also defeated Syracuse in the regular season this year by a score of 14-9 on March 12.
The game will be televised on ESPN3 on May 27 at 7:30 p.m.