Top-ranked Maryland’s early, late scoring surges’ couple to doom Orange in semifinal loss

first_img[email protected] Published on May 28, 2010 at 12:00 pm Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ TOWSON, Md. — Amongst the all-star cast, Maryland’s Katie Schwarzmann must have been lost in the shuffle.With the Syracuse defense focusing on Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year Caitlyn McFadden and a slew of other All-ACC performers, Schwarzmann seized her opportunity. The freshman midfielder found a seam in the Orange defense and fired in a shot to the top right corner from 10 yards out, advancing the Terrapins lead and furthering its stranglehold on Syracuse’s season.Schwarzmann’s goal opened the floodgates. And the Terps never looked back.Though an onslaught of early goals put the Orange in a suffocating hole, it was the late scoring surge that allowed top-ranked Maryland (21-1) to put the finishing touches on a dominant offensive performance. Both offensive outbursts combined to send No. 10 Syracuse (15-7) home following a 14-5 loss in the NCAA tournament semifinals at Johnny Unitas Stadium Friday. The output equaled the second-most goals SU allowed in a single game all season and aided the Terrapins in eliminating the Orange from the tournament for the second consecutive year.‘We knew they were a very good team, they were super-athletic,’ Syracuse head coach Gary Gait said. ‘And we were going to have to play a great game.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMaryland will play in the championship game Sunday against Northwestern.Entering the game, Maryland had compiled a nearly unbeatable record by controlling the ball and imposing its will upon opposing defenses. Not once this season were the Terps outshot, and that proved to be a successful component in racking up victories and claiming the No. 8 scoring offense and the No. 1 overall ranking in the country. For the Orange, its chances of pulling off the upset increased if SU was to win the battle in the circle and control the tempo.But from the outset, that proved to be problematic for Syracuse. Each time Gait shuffled the deck and made some in-game changes, Maryland came back with a different look of its own. In the opening minutes, the Terps’ attack was a constant wave, keeping the Orange defense on its heels.‘Tonight, we were ready from the opening whistle,’ Maryland head coach Cathy Reese said. ‘It wasn’t about what we were going to do to stop them. It was about playing the lacrosse we can play and letting them worry about how they’re going to stop us.’While the Terps’ offense slashed the defense and scored at will, the SU scoring attack struggled to find opportunities of its own. Despite only allowing three goals to James Madison just six days earlier, Maryland’s collective talent, speed and athleticism on offense proved to be the primary component in issuing the Orange a 7-2 halftime deficit. And with Maryland’s 16-0 record when leading at the intermission this season, Syracuse faced an uphill battle.Syracuse goaltender Liz Hogan consistently made save after save in goal, keeping the potent Maryland offense at bay for a time. Meanwhile, SU spent the next 10 minutes building a comeback. First, All-Big East midfielder Christina Dove recorded her first goal of the game. Then freshman attack Michelle Tumolo fired in consecutive goals, bringing the score to 8-5.But just when momentum appeared to be shifting in SU’s favor, Maryland struck back. After a five-minute lull, Schwarzmann took a pass from teammate Karri Ellen Johnson and immediately flung the ball into the top right corner of the net and ended the Terps’ 22-minute scoring drought with 6:26 left to play. ‘When they got the ball down on our end, we really had to pressure out and we needed to try to cause turnovers because we needed to get the ball back because time was ticking down,’ senior attack Halley Quillinan said. ‘I think that gave them a little more distance and they scored. But we needed to do that. We needed to press out to get the ball back and continue our run.’Instead, SU’s desperation led to an avalanche. Less than a minute after Schwarzmann’s goal, she returned the favor to Johnson by setting her up on a goal of her own. With just 5:32 left to play, it appeared any momentum SU had gained was now erased. Any chance of a comeback was negated by Maryland’s constantly attacking offense. The Terps finished the game by scoring six unanswered goals, triggered by Schwarzmann’s tally.‘We did have a little bit of a drought there for a while where we were making some unnecessary turnovers,’ Reese said. ‘But this team found a way to fight back.’Despite gaining the late separation, Maryland wasn’t done just yet. Nor was its captain — McFadden — who finished off the Orange with two of her game-high four goals in a one-minute span. Within minutes, what was once looking like a close finish had quickly slipped away from Syracuse. Suddenly, the long road to the final four was over.And after the Terps’ bench stormed the field in celebration as the final seconds ticked away, Gait sat at the podium and searched for the right words.‘We knew what we had to do to have success against them because they’re an exceptional team and a very good team and they’ve proven that the last two years with their success on the field,’ Gait said. ‘We were going to have to step up and make plays, make shots and, unfortunately, it didn’t happen for us today.’last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *