UMass women's lacrosse falls to Maryland in NCAA Tournament, 18-3

  • —Courtesy Keith Lucas

  • —Courtesy Keith Lucas

  • —Courtesy Keith Lucas

  • —Courtesy Keith Lucas

@MattVautourDHG
Published: 5/22/2016 4:18:35 PM

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The upset dream died fast for the UMass women’s lacrosse team.

Maryland lived up to its dual status as both NCAA Tournament’s No. 1 seed and defending champion and put the Minutewomen away quickly, 18-3, Sunday at the Maryland Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex.

UMass finished its season 20-2, while Maryland (21-0) advanced to its eighth straight Final Four next weekend in Philadelphia.

“It was a tough day for us,” UMass coach Angela McMahon said. “Maryland is the best team in the country. They came to play. … Our girls battled out there the whole time. I couldn’t be more proud of this team and what they accomplished. Our leadership and our seniors, this was an amazing group of people.”

After Maryland won the opening draw control and scored on the game’s first possession, the Minutewomen has some bad luck on the Terps second goal. The ball was deflected off of Megan Whittle’s shot. The bounce skipped funny off the wet AstroTurf field and knuckled past Sam Walters with 25 minutes, 45 seconds left.

Maryland won the ensuing draw on a UMass infraction. Off the restart, Whittle raced in and scored again, with 25:29 left to put the Terps up 3-0.

The quick strike put UMass on its heels, and the reality of how daunting the task the Minutewomen faced seemed to set in.

“Every game we try to come out hot and try to get a couple early to get some momentum and get things going,” McMahon said. “Today it went the other way, and you’re playing a little bit of catch up. We got taken out of what we were trying to do a little bit. You give the No. 1 team in the country a lead, it’s going to be hard to climb out of that.”

UMass’ struggled to get possession and to keep it when it did. Draw controls, which had been a key ingredient of UMass’ success this season, didn’t go the Minutewomen’s way, as Maryland’s Taylor Cummings proved a tougher foe than anyone UMass All-American Hannah Murphy had encountered this season. The Terps won the draw control battle 15-7 (10-4 in the first half).

“We pretty much played 90 percent of the game on defense,” McMahon said. “It’s tough to score when you’re playing defense the whole time.”

The early hole forced UMass to rush, further playing into the Terps hands. Needing a lot of goals to have any chance, the Minutewomen couldn’t wait for Grade A scoring chances and had to pull the trigger quicker than they would have in a closer game.

Maryland took advantage, turning the missed shots and Megan Taylor saves into more possessions.

“It was hard to get in a groove when we got down there because time is ticking,” Murphy said. “I don’t think we capitalized on a lot of our shots. It was definitely hard to stay patient because of the time.”

Maryland led 8-0 before Callie Santos put UMass on the board to make it 8-1 with 10:11 remaining.

The goal proved merely a speed bump for the Terps. In women’s lacrosse, a 10-goal lead causes the clock to run even during play stoppages. Maryland triggered that rule with 2:43 left at 11-1 before adding two more goals to make it 13-1 at halftime. The baker’s dozen before intermission gave the top seed more goals against UMass than anyone had scored in any full game this season.

Maryland outscored UMass 5-2 in the second half.

“They have many offensive threats,” UMass senior Kate Farnham said. “We focused on playing our best man defense. We have to give them credit.”

Walters made five first-half saves for UMass, while Aileen Kelly stopped two in the second half. Murphy and Ashley Faulhaber each had second half goals for the Mintuewomen. Erica Eipp assisted on each of them.

Matt Vautour can be reached at mvautour@gazettenet.com. Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at www.facebook.com/GazetteUMassCoverage




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