After getting its revenge on Notre Dame last weekend, Duke's attempt to go two-for-two on upset bids fell short against Maryland.
The ninth-ranked Blue Devils could not pull of the upset of the top-seeded Terrapins, falling 15-8 in the NCAA Championship quarterfinals at Maryland’s Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex.
“Maryland played great today—kudos to them, they’re a great team,” head coach Kerstin Kimel said. “We were excited about the opportunity to come and play them. Truthfully, we were happy to be in the tournament, we were happy we had two really good wins on the road last weekend against two good opponents and we were excited to have the chance to come here and play.”
Duke (11-8) could not slow Maryland (21-1) in the first half, as the Terrapins built a 9-3 lead by the time the halftime buzzer sounded. By the time the Blue Devils put up five goals in the second half, it was too late.
Maryland outpaced at the Blue Devils 16-7 at the faceoff X by the time game concluded, allowing the Terrapins to retain possession and keep the game under control.
“That’s what Maryland does. To their credit, they are just so fast and so quick and we never put ourselves in a position to create any good momentum,” Kimel said. “Even after we scored, we didn’t necessarily win the next draw or make a stop defensively. You have to do something to gain momentum in a game and we struggled with that today.”
Sophomore Taylor Cummings led the way for the Terrapins, scoring five goals on nine shots to bring her season total to 59. Beth Glaros and Kelly McPartland added three scores apiece for Maryland and kept its lead comfortable for the entirety of the contest.
The Blue Devils were able to keep the game competitive through the opening 10 minutes, trailing 3-2 and seemingly o be on the right track toward giving the Terrapins a run for their money. But Maryland set the tone for the remainder of the contest with a 6-1 run in the final 20 minutes of the first half.
Duke did not start the second half any better than it finished the first, allowing the Terrapins to rattle off three straight goals to push the unanswered goal streak to six and give Maryland a 12-3 lead with with 27:50 left in the game. At that point, the game was all but over.
Offensively, the Blue Devils did not get the looks they were looking for throughout the contest, as they settled for a 40 percent shot percentage compared to the Terrapins' 54 percent clip.
“A couple of times I felt like we kind of strayed a little from our game plan and were too quick with our possessions,” Kimel said. “We needed to have the ball a little bit longer and work for a better shot and we didn’t do that.”
After taking Notre Dame down on its home field last weekend, playing at the Terrapins’ stadium was still a challenge for the Blue Devils. With the attendance recorded at 1,012—nearly five times that of the 287 that showed up for the Fighting Irish—playing in front of such a large crowd is something Duke actually welcomed heading into the match.
“We’ve been on the road a lot this season, especially the end of April,” Kimel said. “[Maryland] is a hard place to play, no doubt. It’s one of the best home field advantages in our sport. There’s always a super atmosphere and our girls look forward to that and we talked about embracing that opportunity to play in front of a lot of people.
The Blue Devils saw their season ended with a NCAA quarterfinal loss to Maryland for the second year in a row. Duke finished with a 3-4 clip in the ACC and posted a 5-3 record at home.