#LMranks: No. 4 Maryland Terrapins (Women)
Maryland has a stockpile of talent heading into 2013,
including reigning Tewaaraton Award winner Katie Schwarzmann.
Lacrosse Magazine is counting down its preseason rankings throughout the month of January exclusively on LaxMagazine.com.
Today continues a look at our NCAA Division I Top 20 rankings. For more, visit LaxMagazine.com/LMranks. Follow @LacrosseMag on Twitter and Tweet using the hashtag #LMranks. The countdown will resume Wednesday with profiles of the third-ranked teams in NCAA Division I men and women.
Draw Control: 4
* Out of 5
M Katie Schwarzmann (Sr.)
Résumé includes 2012 Tewaaraton Award and a stint with U.S. women's national team. She had 72 goals, 22 assists and 52 draw controls in 2012. Enough said.
It's important to find someone — or more than one person — to fill the void left by the graduation of Karri Ellen Johnson, whose 78 draw controls were 26 more than Schwarzmann nabbed. The player other than Schwarzmann most likely to take charge on the circle will be highly-touted freshman Taylor Cummings, LM's 2012 National Player of the Year from top-ranked McDonogh School (Md.).
Heralded freshman class features Cummings, attacker Halle Majorana (Manhasset, N.Y.), defender Alice Mercer (Century, Md.) and midfielder Bryn Boucher (Thayer Academy, Mass.) Moreover, Glaros returns after missing all of the 2012 postseason with a knee injury. There will be a new goalie for the Terps as well after four-year starter Brittany Dipper graduated. Senior Kasey Howard played all of 72 minutes in goal last year. Sophomore Abbey Clipp logged 21 fewer minutes than Howard.
An offense that packs a wallop. Most coaches can only dream of having goal-getters such as Schwarzmann, Brooke Griffin, Kelly McPartland, Alex Aust and rookie Cummings, to name a few. At Maryland, an abundant talent level is pretty much business as usual.
Record: 19-4 (3-2 ACC)
In a Nutshell: Maryland won its third straight ACC crown, was the third seed for the NCAA tournament and lost to Northwestern in the national semifinals. The Terps didn't reach the title game for the first time since 2009. Katie Schwarzmann won the Tewaaraton Award and was ACC most valuable player. She became the third Terp to win the Tewaaraton, joining Jen Adams (2001) and Caitlyn McFadden (2010).
High Point: Winning the ACC championship. North Carolina went 5-0 in league to win the conference's regular season title, but the Terps got the better of the Tar Heels in the ACC tournament title game, winning 14-11, after beating Duke, 12-3, to reach the championship game.
Low Point: Losing to Syracuse, 10-9, on March 10. The loss in College Park, Md., snapped the Terps' 36-game home winning streak. It was the first regular season loss at home in coach Cathy Reese's six-year tenure. The 36-game win streak was a mark that ranked fifth in the nation in all NCAA Division I sports.
#LMranks WD1 Preseason Countdown
No. 20 Princeton
Best Case: Maryland is able to fill the gaps in goal and on the draw and continues to assert itself as the team to beat in the ACC. With another talented freshman class, the Terps really coalesce come midseason and reach the NCAA title game in Villanova.
Worst Case: The Terps don't win the ACC title, perhaps North Carolina gets it this year, but Maryland earns an at-large berth to the NCAA tournament. It's hard not to picture the Terps back in the final four, but with the expanded 26-team tournament and national familiarity with its roster, maybe there's an unforeseen upset.
Coach Cathy Reese's comments on...
D Iliana Sanza (Sr.)
"An amazing defender, who has great game sense, especially in the 8-meter. She can anticipate plays and will anchor our defense."
A Alex Aust (Sr.)
"Great stickwork and field vision. Had an awesome year last year and we will look to her to step it up even more this year. A great feeder and excellent finisher."
G Kasey Howard (Sr.) or G Abbey Clipp
"Still to be decided. Since Brittany Dipper started for us the past four years, our current goalies have been working to earn the starting spot through the fall and into the preseason."
Rival Coaches Say
"They just reload every year and have a tremendous freshman class. Schwarzmann is great. But they have some big shoes to fill in the goal... Maryland is just steady. They are big kids, they are strong kids. They play smart. They take chances, but they are calculated chances. If you can possess the ball and get into their defense, I think you can score on Maryland, but it's hard to run with them the fewer goals you are able to score. I look for them to kind of run-and-gun it... They've got the Tewaaraton winner coming back so it's always nice to build on those types of players. They have some great attack with Aust leading it. I think they've got a solid D with another year of experience and Cathy's a great coach and she's always going to have a tough team. They're going to be right there again.
"They are returning some really great players. They are hungry after the final four to do well. They have some great recruits coming in. I think Taylor Cummings is going to do a great job for them. It will be fun to watch them play... It's their feeding and cutting that makes them tough to stop. They're very good at it. That's always a tough thing with them. They have some tremendous players that are tough matchups. You have to do your share on the draws and stop their fast breaks. You have to figure out a way to not let them use their speed... I think Maryland has a ton of talent, and they're going to be good. The biggest question for them is in goal, but their defense can usually protect the goalie pretty well.
"From what I know and see they are a very deep and talented squad that has the ability to win another national championship. They are athletic and have incredible stick skill. Katie Schwarzmann is one of the, if not, the top player in the nation. Cathy knows how to motivate and get the most out of her players. Goalkeeping and defense will be the place where the Terps have the least depth and the biggest holes to fill.... I think that Maryland will have new folks around the draw circle given that they lost Karri Ellen Johnson who did most of their draw-taking the last two years. I also think that they'll have a question mark in the goal cage. To me, the two kids for them are going to be [Katie] Schwarzmann and [Iliana] Sanza. I know Sanza's had a knee injury. I'm not really sure to what extent her knee injury has been, but she's clearly their captain on defense and Katie controls the midfield and is a huge scoring threat. And you have Alex Aust who had a great year last year, so I think if they can work on the draw and shore up the goalkeeping position, I think that they'll be poised to be a top team again this year as well."