A quick take on Syracuse’s stinging 15-12 loss to Maryland in the NCAA Women’s Lacrosse championship game played Sunday evening in front of a record, partisan Terps crowd of 10,311, at Johnny Unitas Stadium on the campus of Towson University at Towson, Md.:
WHAT HAPPENED:Gunning for a first national title in any women’s sport at the school, the Orange succumb to No. 1 seeded Maryland’s stellar second half of play at both ends of the field, and their own comeback that fell short, losing to UM for a third time this season. The Terps (23-1) stormed out to a quick 5-0 lead in under five minutes before the Orange (21-3) calmed down and clawed to within 9-6 at halftime. But Maryland’s big guns of Taylor Cummings (3), Beth Glaros (5), Brooke Griffin (3), and Kristen Lamon (3) combined for 14 goals, and a tough UM defense thwarted SU’s comeback in the final five minutes. Maryland won its record 11th national title.
WHAT IT MEANS: For the second time in three seasons Gary Gait’s squad finishes one victory short of its goal of winning a national title, first set when Gait came aboard to lead the program in August 2007. The Orange continue to finish a step behind the Maryland program, losing 16 of the last 17 games, including in last year’s NCAA Tournament, and the three meetings this season.
STAR GAZING: The terrific play of UM’s Cummings winning draw controls and fellow middie Glaros with the game-high five scores, while middie Katie Webster and attack Alyssa Murray led SU with three goals, and Kayla Treanor chipped in with two for the ‘Cuse in defeat.
WHAT’S NEXT: The old adage “there’s always next season” applies to this program, following its 17th season of play as national runners-up for a second time in three years. Although the squad loses firepower in the form of record-setting attack Murray, there’s plenty of talent coming back to make another deep NCAA run in 2015. Next year’s women’s NCAA Final Four will be played at PPL Park in Chester, Pa.