Duke or Johns Hopkins?
That was the question the No. 2 ranked Maryland women’s lacrosse team had to prepare for before their second round game of the NCAA Championship. On Friday, Duke won the first round match, setting up a rematch from last year’s NCAA Championship with the Terps.
A late comeback fueled by young striker Libby May and her sister Katie May came shortly after the Trips fell to the Blue Devils, 13-12. That game took place in Durham, but this time the two will play in the Maryland backyard at field hockey and lacrosse complex.
“We haven’t had that specific experience yet,” said young striker Hannah Luebecker. “It’s so nice not to have to travel, to be able to finish school…and not worry about doing all these things on the road. We love playing here, we love the fans…it’s really exciting.”
A rematch is set, and Maryland has revenge on her mind as she looks forward to the quarter-finals and possibly facing either No. 7 seed Florida or Jacksonville.
“We all know how last year felt, and then, having that experience helped us with confidence this year and in [the NCAA Tournament]’ said young guard Emily Sterling.
Maryland’s second-round game is scheduled for Sunday at 2:30 p.m. and can be broadcast on ESPN Plus.
Duke Blue Devils (16-3, 6-2 ACC)
Technical Director Kristen Kimmel She is the only coach in Duke’s history and has propelled the program to one of the enduring powerhouses in the sport. As seeded No. 7 in last year’s tournament, Kimel brought her team to the quarterfinals before losing to Northwestern. This year, the Blue Devils were cool again. Aside from slipping in two games late in the season that knocked out the Blue Devils from the top eight ranked streaks, they spread through the regular season table, only losing to Syracuse on March 6 before losing their last game to North Carolina before. Postseason.
players to know
Main striker Maddie Jenner No. 14 – Jenner has been a consistent name on Tewaaraton’s watch list for the past two seasons, and her play certainly lives up to her status on the national stage. She scored 30 goals this season, but her main area of contribution is the draw. After collecting 187 draws last season, Jenner collected a whopping 229 this year, the best in the country on a game-by-game basis. That’s big given Maryland’s inconsistency in the draw this season. While they’ve been better since the start of play after the start of the season, a player like Jenner can take apart the Terps on his own.
Alumnus midfielder Catriona Barry No. 19 – Duke Jack has been the points leader in all deals this season. She has 90 points – 54 goals and 36 assists – she accompanied 18 touchdowns, 12 caused flips and 20 controlled a tie. Her recording has slowed down a bit, but she is a constant threat to attack the duke who is ranked 11th in the country.
New striker Kate Di Simone No. 4 – DeSimone was a thorn in the Maryland team at last year’s meeting, leading the Blue Devils with four goals. This season, she has continued to be an attacking threat, leading Duke by scoring 59 goals. Her development has been an important part of Duke’s success in the past two seasons, and she will look to be a major contributor once again to the rematch.
Attempted crime. Drag controls and offensive production go hand in hand, and the Blue Devils are one of the best in the country at making use of both sides of the game. A.630 control ratio coupled with its 11th-ranked attack underscores the Blue Devils on the offensive end at a brisk pace. Maryland will have to step up the defense or the draw to prevent the competition from becoming a penalty shootout.
Remove. Although Duke is good at generating attack from the tie circuit, he struggles to turn defense into attack. Ranked last in the ACC in a clear percentage (.852), the Blue Devils cough up the ball in the occasional transitional period. Terps can take advantage of this weakness by putting pressure on attack and in midfield.
Three things to watch
1. A tough lottery. For all intents and purposes, the Blue Devils were among the top eight teams in the country all year. They’ve been consistently anchored in the top ten in the National Inside Lacrosse polls this season. The main reason for their low rating is that they were knocked out in the first round of the ACC Championship to Notre Dame. The Terps have to deal with the ramifications of the unfortunate rating, but as they’ve done all season, they won’t regress to a strong opponent.
2. How will Terps cope with goodbyes? It is yet another precedent for the young Terps team as they had little leeway to prepare for their opponent. Not knowing the opponent just two days before the second-round game creates some problems for Maryland. But the situation around the team, as it had been all season, was focused not on the opponent, but on themselves.
“It goes along with everything we’re talking about here in Maryland, and now we have this week to work on things that we need to do better,” said trainer Cathy Reese.
Lübecker added, “The focus is just playing on us, it doesn’t really matter who we play. We will be ready for anything because we just have to play our game.”
3. How fast is Maryland playing? Either through design or game mode, Terps will be looking to accelerate their offensive approach in this mode. Duke moves the ball and if they can play, Maryland will have to play with a certain ferocity in attack during the four quarters. Regardless of Duke’s success, Terps have been instrumental throughout the week to push the pace and leave everything on the line.
“We’ve definitely improved in possession time and we’ve done that, but this is an area I just want to keep growing and get smarter with the ball,” said Reese.