March 10, 2014

Maryland Women Knock Off Syracuse in the Carrier Dome

by Will Cleveland | | Live Blog Replay

Junior midfielder Kelly McPartland led all players with five points (three goals, two assists), as Maryland knocked Syracuse from the ranks of the unbeatens with a 12-10 victory Monday at the Carrier Dome. (Greg Wall)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. --  The Maryland women's lacrosse team ventured inside Syracuse's Carrier Dome on Monday night for the teams' first and only ACC regular-season matchup. The second-ranked Terps flexed their athleticism and depth in a 12-10 win over the third-ranked Orange.

"It's definitely a challenge and we love a challenge," said Maryland junior defender Megan Douty, who led an effort that limited the quality looks for the explosive and deep Syracuse attack. "We want to be competitive, and we are always trying to get better. Today I think we did."

Junior midfielder Kelly McPartland led the Terps with three goals and two assists.

"It's an awesome win," McPartland said. "We played them last year in our [NCAA] semifinal game and that game was really close, so to come out here and have a win against them is really good for us. We do have a lot of things to work on, but I think we played really well as a team tonight."

Douty had the assignment of limiting the effectiveness of Syracuse's sophomore sensation Kayla Treanor. The talented attacker finished with a team-high four points on three goals and an assist, but Douty and the Maryland defense made her work for it with a physical and polished approach.

"Maryland is a great team," said Treanor, who entered the game with 38 points (23 goals, 15 assists). "They've got a great defense, but I don't think we played our best."

Terps coach Cathy Reese singled out the effort of Douty as one of the keys.

"She did great," Reese said. "She played on Kayla Treanor, who we think is such a talented player. "She played great 1-on-1 defense on her and really held her and limited her looks. That's what we were going for. We knew she was going to score. We knew she was going to get some good looks on goal, and she did. But I think Douty did a really nice job on somebody that we have so much respect for."

Maryland (8-0, 2-0 ACC) led 6-5 at halftime and on three occasions built three-goal leads in the second half. The last came at 12-9 on Beth Glaros' second goal of the game with 2:12 left.

Seven different players scored for Maryland. The athleticism of the Terps' ride made it extremely difficult, especially in the first half, for the Orange to successfully clear the ball.

"I personally think our defense helped a lot with the success of our ride," McPartland said. "When we push up, that makes it a lot harder for them to find the open player. Our attackers are up and everybody is up. It's really difficult for them to find who's open."

Syracuse coach Gary Gait said his team was weakest on the draw control and in shooting percentage. Maryland won 16 of 25 draws and the Orange converted just 10 of 25 shots.

"That was by far the most athletic team we've seen," Gait said. "Their defenders are very quick, and they cleared the ball pretty well against us, taking off, dodging, getting over the 30. Their attack is very athletic and put a lot of pressure on our defense. We've just got to do a better job of keeping our head up and moving the ball as a team."

Syracuse committed 28 fouls, while Maryland was whistled for 12. The Terps always seemed to be a step ahead, and the Orange will have to recover quickly with No. 5 Florida coming to the Carrier Dome on Saturday.

"Obviously it was a tough game, but the solace is that we are only in March," Gait said. "Great opponent with only one loss in the last two years. They showed why. They are a confident team with great talent, and they stepped up and made some great plays."

Freshman Zoe Stukenberg added two goals and one assist, and junior Erin Collins chipped in two goals for Maryland, which hosts No. 8 Notre Dame on Saturday.

Katie Webster, Alyssa Murray, and Gabby Jaquith each scored twice for the Orange.

McPartland paced the Terps in first half with two goals and two assists. Each of the goals came on a restart, and she just missed a third goal on a free-position shot that sailed low and wide late in the first half.

Maryland twice built two-goal leads, but the Terps never were able to create any more breathing room. Syracuse goalie Kelsey Richardson was phenomenal in the opening 15 minutes. She recorded five of her seven first-half saves to keep the Orange in the game, but did not record a save in the second half.

"We opened the game and we had a ton of opportunities on goal in that first half, and we were just missing or the goalie was making some great saves," Reese said. "We just kind of got a little frazzled and out of rhythm, and we needed to stick those shots. We need to sharpen up a little on offense and make sure we are moving the ball and making smart passes. We turned the ball over too much tonight as well."

Syracuse converted just five of nine first-half clears and also had 13 fouls. The Orange had seven turnovers in the first half, while Maryland had three.

When Syracuse was able to settle into its offense, it had success, as evidenced by Treanor's assist to Kempney with 6.8 seconds remaining in the first half. That goal drew the Orange to within 6-5.

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