Maryland takes 11th lacrosse title
TOWSON, Md. -- Maryland stepped off the lacrosse field a year ago exhausted and heartbroken, having lost in triple overtime to North Carolina, the Tar Heels' first national title, in the longest national title game in NCAA women's lacrosse history.
"Last year we sat up here after a heartbreaker," Maryland coach Cathy Reese said. "We are a really young team and so everybody else felt the pain of that loss and returned this year to play. And we didn't want to have that feeling again."
Sunday night, the Terrapins (23-1) faced Syracuse (21-3), another ACC foe. And after a year of rebuilding, they reclaimed the title that has eluded them since 2010. Maryland won an unprecedented 11th national title, the most in NCAA women's lacrosse history, with its 15-12 victory.
"This is the happiest day of my life. I can't stop saying that and I can't stop smiling," Beth Glaros, the Terps' lone senior starter, said.
The result came down to draw control - nearly identical to the score, the top-seeded Terps led the second-seeded Orange 16-13 in draw control.
"The draw controls were just huge and we just came out and we were fired up, we were ready to go and we didn't want to play with fear," sophomore midfielder Taylor Cummings said.
The Terps took control of the game early, notching five points before the Orange's first possession of the ball.
"They're tough for everybody to match up against because they're so athletic in the midfield. They dominated us in the first half by getting the ball on the draw controls," Syracuse coach Gary Gait said.
This was Syracuse's second trip the NCAA championship game and the Orange were highly ranked throughout the season. Syracuse's Achilles' heel this season has been Maryland, the team that handed the Orange all three of their losses.
"It's kind of frustrating that we just lost to Maryland three times but just the fact that we beat everybody else it's just, it's great and I'm proud of everybody," Syracuse senior midfielder Katie Webster said.
Maryland's offense was dominant, but similar to the game Friday night against Northwestern, the scoring was spread among the team as four Terps scored hat tricks.
However, with Tewaaraton Award finalists Taylor Cummings and Megan Douty and a handful of All-Americans and national team members, the Terps' scoring diversity is not for lack of superstar talent, but is a result of chemistry and teamwork.
"It's so special this team. Since the first day of fall ball we knew it was going to be a special group of girls and we've had such a great dynamic all season long," Glaros said.
Glaros was the determined to not let this game, and the title, slip away. She netted five goals and was dominant throughout the midfield.
"Having been to three final fours already, this is our fourth, we really didn't want to come up short in this one, especially since this is the seniors' last year," Glaros said.
Between elation and heartbreak, the emotions were high for both teams. Now, both have to start building toward next year. And Maryland has made a loud statement, beating future Big Ten rival Northwestern on Friday and now former ACC rival Syracuse on Sunday. The Terps have satisfactorily closed one chapter and are ready to begin the next.
"This is just a big moment ... it feels really good," Reese said.