When the calendar changes to May, the attitude changes for the Maryland women’s lacrosse team. For a Terrapins team perpetually in the mix for a national championship, the start of the NCAA tournament means it’s time to get serious.
“It’s time to get business done,” Terps midfielder Taylor Cummings said. “We come out here, we have a guaranteed 60 minutes, and that’s all we think about. If we win, we survive. If we lose, we go home. I don’t think we’re ready to go home yet.”
Top-ranked Maryland made that abundantly clear in its tournament opener Sunday as Cummings, junior midfielder Kelly McPartland and senior midfielder Beth Glaros (Wilde Lake) each notched hat tricks and the Terps allowed one goal over the final 33 minutes 38 seconds in a 13-5 win over No. 13 Penn in College Park.
Top-seeded Maryland (20-1) advances to the NCAA quarterfinals Saturday at noon. The Terps will host Duke, a 10-8 winner over Notre Dame on Sunday. They defeated the Blue Devils, 19-10, earlier this season.
The key to the win Sunday was Cummings’s dominance on faceoffs. The sophomore, one of five players named as a Tewaaraton Award finalist, helped Maryland win 17 of 20 draws on the day, allowing the Terps to maintain possession and score seven of the final eight goals.
“It’s just basically about four seconds of focus. That’s what we always say,” Cummings said. “We did a really good job of crashing in off the circle and coming in from the 30.”
Draws also kept the Quakers (13-5) off the attack for long stretches, particularly after they cut the lead to 6-4 on a goal by midfielder Tory Bensen late in the first half.
All told, the Terps outshot Penn 28-12 in knocking the eight-time Ivy League defending champion out of the tournament. It was a dominant performance for a Maryland team coming off a two-week break following the ACC tournament.
Terps Coach Cathy Reese said the long break was a welcome respite for her team, which is seeking its first national title since 2010.
“It gave us a chance to rest some people and just have some recovery coming off the ACC tournament,” Reese said. “But it is a little hard to get moving again. You’re in a rhythm of going at least two games a week, and then we’re off for two weeks and just itching to play.”
●NORTH CAROLINA 10, GEORGETOWN 8: The Hoyas took a second-half lead against the defending national champion Tar Heels, but their season ended with an 11-9 loss in Chapel Hill, N.C. North Carolina (15-4) will host Virginia in the quarterfinals Saturday.
●VIRGINIA 13, PRINCETON 11: The Cavaliers, playing at home, jumped out to an early 5-1 lead, then held off a late Tigers charge to improve to 11-8. Courtney Swan had four goals and two assists to lead Virginia.