Even though Maryland went into halftime of Saturday’s NCAA Division I women’s lacrosse tournament quarterfinal against Duke with a six-goal lead, the No. 1 Terps wanted to make a statement coming out of the break.
They emerged from the locker room to score three goals in the first three minutes to all but seal a 15-8 victory at Maryland’s Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex and earn their 22nd — and sixth straight — trip to the Final Four.
“We came out of halftime with a lot of fire,” Terps midfielder Taylor Cummings said. “We knew that it wasn’t over yet and Duke was going to come out ready to go. I think we did a great job of setting the tone for the second half really early. We got a couple of quick goals, and I think that told them that ‘you’re going to have to beat us, and it’s going to be tough.’ ”
Cummings, a Tewaaraton Award finalist, scored twice and Kelly McPartland added a third goal, all within 34 seconds, to boost the Terps’ lead to 12-3 shortly into the third quarter. Although the Blue Devils cut the margin to 12-5, they never got closer.
The Terps (21-1) will continue their quest for their 12th national championship when they meet No. 5 Northwestern, a 12-11 overtime winner over No. 4 Florida, in the national semifinals Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Towson University’s Johnny Unitas Stadium. Maryland, which fell to North Carolina in triple overtime in last year’s title game, won its last title in 2010.
In Saturday’s all-Atlantic Coast Conference battle with Duke, Cummings and Beth Glaros, the Terps’ only starting senior, combined for eight goals after contributing 11 in Maryland’s 19-10 victory over the Blue Devils earlier this year. They also combined for 11 draw controls in Saturday’s win, their fourth straight over the Blue Devils (11-8).
Cummings, an all-American last year as a freshman, scored five goals Saturday, but the biggest were the two to start the second half. With that three-goal opening run, the Terps put the finishing touch on a six-goal run that started with goals from Brooke Griffin, Zoe Stukenberg and McPartland in the final 2 minutes 27 seconds of the first half.
“We just wanted to be prepared for anything,” Maryland Coach Cathy Reese said. “We played them early in the season . . . so we worked on a lot of different things in practice. Some we saw; some we didn’t, but it was more about us and our focus of trying to execute. I think they started to take us out of our rhythm a little bit there in the second half, and we had to regroup in a timeout just to make sure we were being confident and poised when we had the ball.”
— Baltimore Sun
●VIRGINIA 10, NORTH CAROLINA 9: A six-goal run in the second half propelled the sixth-seeded Cavaliers past the third-seeded Tar Heels in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Casey Bocklet had two goals and three assists to send Virginia to the Final Four for the first time since 2007.
●NORTHWESTERN 12, FLORIDA 11 (OT): In Gainesville, Fla., Kat DeRonda scored 16 seconds into overtime to lift the fifth-seeded Wildcats to their 10th straight berth in the Final Four with a win over the fourth-seeded Gators.
●SYRACUSE 11, BOSTON COLLEGE 9: The second-seeded Orange rallied from an early three-goal deficit to beat the visiting No. 6 seed Eagles.
Syracuse will face Virginia on Friday at Towson.
— From staff reports