Terps too much at Koskinen

Duke held a 1-0 lead after 15 minutes, but the Terrapins dominated the rest of the game.
Duke held a 1-0 lead after 15 minutes, but the Terrapins dominated the rest of the game.

After trailing for most of the first half, Maryland exploded on offense to bury the Blue Devils and knock them out of the ACC tournament.

Second-seeded Duke fell 12-3 to third-seeded Maryland in the conference tournament semifinal Saturday at Koskinen Stadium. The Blue Devils held a 1-0 advantage into the game’s 23rd minute when the Terrapins, led by Junior Katie Schwarzmann, finished the half on a 4-0 run. The momentum carried through to the second half as Duke was no match for Maryland, who cruised to an easy victory on the Blue Devils’ home turf.

“This was the most complete game of lacrosse that we played all season,” Maryland head coach Cathy Reese said.

Schwarzmann led the way for the dangerous Maryland offense, notching four goals to bring her season total to an ACC-leading 57. Alex Aust added three goals and four assists, setting a conference tournament record for most assists in the process. Senior Karri Ellen Johnson also tallied two goals and two assists. Duke’s goals were scored by Kim Wenger, Taylor Trimble and Kat Thomas.

“Our gameplan was to really have the ball in our offensive end and make them play defense for an extended period of time,” Duke head coach Kerstin Kimel said. “We weren’t being aggressive enough when we initiated our looks, which led to either some bad decisions or takes to goal that were not as sharp or on point as they should have been.”

The game was evenly played at the start. The Blue Devils struck first when Wenger scored her 22nd goal of the year less than two minutes into the contest. Duke controlled the possession during the opening 15 minutes of the game and held Maryland defensively with senior goaltender Mollie Mackler making crucial saves to preserve the Blue Devils’ 1-0 lead.

“We had had seven shots, and we hadn’t put one away,” Reese said. “We knew that was something that would definitely give Duke’s defense confidence.”

The Terrapins came out of the timeout revitalized and were able to draw even when Schwarzmann beat Mackler with 7:31 remaining in the first half. Then, by controlling possession, the Terrapins firmly seized control of the game, going into the locker room with a 4-1 lead.

Maryland did not waste time to pad its lead as Johnson and Aust both scored within the first three minutes of the second half. Duke’s Trimble responded, scoring her team’s first goal in over 31 minutes. Her goal reduced the Blue Devils’ deficit to 6-2 with just over 27 minutes remaining in the game, but there would be no Duke run in store. The Terrapins continued to attack, often scoring on one-timers, and added five more goals within the next six minutes to put the game completely out of reach.

“In the first half we did a good job of mitigating those cutters and in the second half we really struggled with them,” Kimel said. “I felt like some of it was that we gave them momentum out of the midfield and therefore we weren’t as organized as we were in the first half. You can’t play that way against Maryland. They can score too many goals too quickly.”

The Blue Devils and Terrapins split the game’s final two goals as Maryland held Duke scoreless for the final 16:58 of the contest. The Terrapin defense was stifling throughout, led by senior goaltender Brittany Dipper, who recorded nine saves on Duke’s 13 shots. Dipper’s three goals allowed tied an ACC tournament record.

The second-seeded Blue Devils received a first-round bye and entered Saturday’s contest without having played a game in 10 days, though Maryland opened ACC tournament play Friday against Virginia Tech. While the additional rest for the tournament’s top seeds can be a benefit, too much time off can contribute to additional rust on game day. Kimel, however, contended that the time off did not affect the Blue Devils’ play.

“We had the best week of practice and preparation for this game that we’ve had all year,” Kimel said. “Our gameplan did not translate well mentally onto the field. You want the kids to stay focused and believe.”


Share and discuss “Terps too much at Koskinen” on social media.