May 11, 2014

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Maryland Trio Score Hat-Tricks as Terps Top Penn

by Megan Schneider | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter

In-Game Blog Replay

 

Taylor Cummings was one of three Maryland players with hat-tricks as the Terrapins routed Penn to start their NCAA tournament with a bang at home. (John Strohsacker/LaxPhotos.com)

Two weeks after winning their sixth straight ACC championship title, the No. 1 seed Maryland Terrapins started slow but then pulled away for a 13-5 victory over Penn in the second round of the NCAA Tournament thanks to a hat trick each for Kelly McPartland, Taylor Cummings and Beth Glaros.

"It is a little bit hard to get moving again because you're in a rhythm of going at least two games a week and then we're off for two weeks and we're just itching to play," said Maryland coach Cathy Reese. "I thought we had a much better second half than our first half so it was nice to see us improve and make some adjustments at halftime to limit their opportunities in the second half."

Penn opened the game with an unassisted goal less than five minutes in by senior Lindsay Smith, who was a little ball of fire with quick feet all over the field.

But the Terps responded with four consecutive goals by Cummings, Kristen Lamon, McPartland and Glaros.

Alternating on the draw to face Maryland's stronghold in Cummings, Tory Bensen and Nina Corcoran were able to sink one goal each to make it a one-goal game with about 10 minutes remaining in the first half.

But Reese was not happy with the close battle, yelling plays like "motion" and "bats" from the sidelines to amp up the energy and get her girls moving on offense.

Brooke Griffin then scored two goals off assists from Lamon and Zoe Stukenberg, bringing the score to 6-3.

Bensen tallied one more goal, but Glaros and Cummings found the net once again to hand Maryland a four-goal lead going into halftime.

Because the Terps had allowed four goals on eight shots, they made some key adjustments at the half to limit the amount of offensive opportunities for Penn.

"I thought we were playing pretty poor defense in the first half to lay it out there," said Reese. "We weren't playing very good one-on-one defense. We were giving up some high drives on one-on-ones and we needed to tighten that up, whether that was to play better one-on-one defense or get help there sooner. For us to play defense for three or four minutes at a time and then get scored on is pretty deflating."

Like rapid fire, the Terps then turned it around, opening the second half with a goal by Glaros 21 seconds in. They only allowed a single goal for Penn's Bensen about 10 minutes later and then the Quakers were shut out for the remainder of the game.

Penn took a total of four shots and lacked possession for the majority of the second half. The Terps finished out the game with four goals – one each for Cummings and Jen Mendez and two for McPartland.

What the game really came down to was possession in the midfield, and thanks to Cummings in the center circle, she made it seem effortless reaching for those draw controls. The Terps defeated Penn by a landslide in that category – 17 draw controls versus three for the Quakers, and 10 of those 17 came from Cummings.

"Taylor Cummings controlled the middle of the field for us tremendously," said Reese. "She's outstanding. She's just so good on the draw and our circle people did a great job too coming in hard off there. That was key to our possessions."

Penn attempted to challenge Cummings by rotating in various players to take the draw, including Brooke Kiley in addition to Bensen and Corcoran, but nothing phased Cummings.

"Different centers do different things and they threw a lot of different centers at me, so sometimes I would pull it to Beth or Erin [Collins] and sometimes I pulled it up for myself," said Cummings. "It definitely takes a couple draws to figure out what their style is and what they're trying to do, but I think that speaks to the reactiveness of the people on the circle. I don't always know where it's going the first time with the new player."

Penn has been battling all year, including four ACL injuries in the fall, but coming off the Ivy tournament where the Quakers shocked Princeton for the tournament title after the Tigers earned the No. 1 seed, Penn was sad to see the season end.

"The draw is a tough one," said Penn coach Karin Corbett. "Maryland is a top team in the country. I thought we did well in the regular season, but I don't really understand the draw and it was frustrating. 17-to-3 [in draw controls], you can't give a team like Maryland that many possessions. When you lose the draw that much, every shot matters. We were trying to make every draw 50-50 but when you have someone like Taylor Cummings on the draw, it's tough."

The Terps will face Duke or Notre Dame in the quarterfinals next weekend – two familiar foes from the ACC.

"I'm excited where the ACC was, having six of the top eight seeds as ACC teams, which is a tremendous credit to our conference," said Reese. "For us, it's live and move on. Whomever we face, being in the ACC doesn't really matter. We need to step on the field and play great on Saturday."


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