BALTIMORE — The list of finalists for the women’s Tewaaraton Trophy, given to the best college lacrosse player in the game, is down to five.
Four will be on the field in the NCAA title game.
The display of talent is one of numerous subplots between No. 1 Maryland and No. 2 Syracuse entering their NCAA final on Sunday at 8:30 p.m. at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson, Md.
The Terrapins (22-1) are seeking their first NCAA title since 2010. The Orange (21-2) is seeking its first NCAA title.
The result may go a long way toward determining the Tewaaraton winner. The four finalists feature two on each team: For Maryland, it’s sophomore midfielder Taylor Cummings (60 goals, 23 assists, 120 draw controls) and junior defender Megan Douty (34 groundballs, 19 caused turnovers). For Syracuse, it’s senior Alyssa Murray (62 goals, 44 assists) and sophomore Kayla Treanor (77 goals, 37 assists).
It is the second consecutive year the Terrapins have had two finalists. Last year it was then -seniors Alex Aust and Katie Schwarzmann (Schwarzmann won the award). The voting for the award will take place Tuesday. It will be presented Thursday night at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.
“I’m very proud,” Maryland Coach Cathy Reese said earlier this week. “I think [Cummings and Douty] would give a lot of credit to their team for the success they’ve had. We have a very selfless team that’s always looking out for each other.”
Murray and Treanor were impressive in a 16-8 victory over Virginia in the NCAA semifinals on Friday night. Murray finished with six goals on seven shots and added three assists. Treanor had four goals and three assists against the Cavaliers (12-9).
“Their best players played great,” Virginia Coach Julie Myers said of Syracuse after Friday’s game. “That’s what you need to win a championship.”
Meantime, in a 9-6 victory over Northwestern on Friday night, Douty led a defense that held the Wildcats without a shot for separate stretches of 11 and nine minutes.
Cummings had a different night. The Wildcats face-guarded her — meaning they assigned a player to follow her around and not pay attention to anything else on the field.
The scheme held Cummings to one goal on four shots. But junior Kelly McPartland scored three goals and redshirt junior Brooke Griffin added two goals to pick up the slack.
For the Terrapins to earn their record 11th NCAA women’s lacrosse title, they must complete a gantlet of familiar opponents. Syracuse Coach Gary Gait was an assistant at Maryland from 1994 to 2002; he helped the team win seven consecutive NCAA titles, from 1995 to 2001.
On Friday, Maryland faced former Maryland all-American Kelly Amonte Hiller. She is in the sport’s Hall of Fame largely based on her play at Maryland, from which she graduated in 1996. In the quarterfinals, Maryland’s 15-8 victory over Duke came against Coach Kerstin Kimel, an all-American at Maryland in the early 1990s.
And there’s one final subplot. Maryland will be playing an ACC opponent in its final game in the conference. This summer, Maryland will leave the conference to join the Big Ten.
The Terrapins already have hit at least one high note in their ACC goodbye; their 13-7 victory over Syracuse in the conference title game in Boston last month gave them six consecutive ACC tournament titles.
“This year was really special,” Reese said earlier this week. “It was special for me having been a player in the ACC and having played here [at Maryland]. . . . There’s changes coming and it hasn’t all really set in yet. But [the ACC tournament title] was a really emotional win.”