NCAA Final Four Maryland vs Boston College

NCAA Women's Lacrosse

2018 Final Four

Maryland vs Boston College

Digital Media Sports by Leigh Ernst Friestedt

May 24, 2018

#22 Kayla O'Connor (Boston College) vs #35 Lizzie Colson (Maryland) - 2017 NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championship Game


Defending NCAA Champions

Maryland - 2017 NCAA Women's Lacrosse Champion - will face off against Boston College ("BC") on May 25 in the Semi Finals of the 2018 Final Four in Stony Brook University's LaValle Stadium. The defending NCAA Champion, ranked #1 in the nation, is looking to capture its second consecutive, and 14th overall, NCAA title, but will need to get through a tough #4 BC opponent, in order to advance to the Championship game. The two teams, who met in last year's 2017 NCAA Finals, should be a great match-up.

Maryland 2017 NCAA Champions

Championship Rematch

The 2018 Semi Final between Maryland and Boston College is a rematch of last year's NCAA Championship game in which Maryland defeated Boston College 16-13. This season, Boston College and Maryland only recorded one loss each. The two teams both fell to the University of North Carolina ("UNC"), who will play the earlier game of the Semi Final round against James Madison University ("JMU").

2017 NCAA Finals: Maryland (16) - Boston College (13)
2017 NCAA Championship Game - Maryland (16) vs Boston College (13)

Draw Control

Draw controls will be a key part of the game, as they can determine momentum and possession. Maryland's Kali Hartshorn will face off against Sam Apuzzo from Boston College. In the event that the draw controls becomes unbalanced and one team begins to dominate, each team has draw specialists on reserve - Meghan Siverson (Maryland) and Sheila Rietano (Boston College). For its 21 games, Maryland currently boasts a total of 358 draw controls where Boston College has recorded 328 in 22 games.

#2 Sam Apuzzo (Boston College) draws against #16 Kali Hartshorn - 2017 NCCA Women's Lacrosse Finals

Key Players Not on the Field

The 2018 semifinals will be missing a few key players who played important roles in the 2017 NCAA Championship game. Most of these top players have graduated from their respective schools, but Kenzie Kent, of Boston College, will watch the game from the sidelines after deciding to redshirt her senior year.

Boston College

Kenzie Kent - Attack (BC Redshirt Sr 2019)

Kenzie Kent - Boston College Attacker - Outstanding Player of 2017 NCAA Championship Game - an award traditionally reserved for a player from the winning team, Kent's outstanding performance against Maryland with five goals and five assists tied the NCAA record with 10 points and earned her the title. In 2018, Kent surprised the lacrosse community when she announced that she would redshirt her senior year. Also a member of the Division I women's ice hockey team at BC, Kent usually misses the first couple weeks or months of each lacrosse season. She chose to redshirt the 2018 lacrosse season so that she could return in 2019 to play a full season.

#4 Kenzie Kent (Boston College) vs #14 Nadine Hadgany (Maryland) - 2017 NCAA Women's Lacrosse Finals

2017 Atlantic Coast Conference Female Athlete of the Year - Kent is an elite dual-sport athlete. She has missed the first half of her lacrosse season every year at Boston College to play ice hockey, where she is both leading scorer and team Captain. Kent's ice hockey skills bring a unique dimension to her lacrosse skills. A natural lefty, Kent can roll the crease and shoot low to high with a hockey-like flick of the wrist that makes her shots potent.

As Head Coach, Acacia Walker, explained at the NCAA Final Four media conference, no one player has stepped up to fill Kent's shoes; rather, the entire team has grown in order to continue the program's momentum and to build off of its achievements of 2017. Backed by an experienced Defense made up completely by returners, players such as: Sam Apuzzo, Tess Chandler, Kaileen Hart, Emma Schurr and Dempsey Arsenault have been able to step up and create a formidable, multidimensional Offense in which everyone is a scoring threat.

Kate Weeks - Attack (Boston College 2017)
#24 Kate Weeks (Boston College) vs #6 Meghan Doherty (Maryland) - 2017 NCAA Women's Lacrosse Finals

Kate Weeks - Boston College Attacker - is a dynamic attacker for Boston College who tallied two goals in the Finals against Maryland last year. She is tall, with a height of 5'9", but agile enough to power through top defenses. Look for Tess Chandler, who was on the sidelined last year with a knee injury, to dominate on attack at 6'0" and fill the shoes of Kate Weeks.

Zoe Ochoa - Goalie (Boston College 2017)
#32 Zoe Ochoa (BC Goalie) vs #17 Caroline Wannen (Maryland) - 2017 NCAA Finals

Zoe Ochoa - Boston College Goalie - started the NCAA Championship Game and returned to play in the second half to take over for Lauren Daly, recording eight saves in the game. In addition to Ochoa's strong play in the cage, she is a versatile goalie who often comes out of the cage to help her team on ground balls and clears from her team's defensive end. While Ochoa will definitely be missed, Lauren Daly is an experienced goalie who has played in big games and has assumed the full-time starting goalie role in 2018.


Zoe Stukenberg - Midfield (Maryland 2017)
#15 Zoe Stukenberg (Maryland) - 2017 Tewaaraton Award

Zoe Stukenberg - Maryland Midfielder - 2017 Tewaaraton Award - the superstar midfielder was a tremendous leader for Maryland, dominating both sides of the field with assists, ground balls, draw controls and caused turnovers to lead her team to a national championship. Look for Kali Hartshorn who was 2017 Big Ten Freshman of the Year to step up in Maryland's midfield line and fill the empty shoes of Stukenberg.

Nadine Hadnagy - Defense (Maryland 2017)
#14 Nadine Hadnagy (Maryland) anchors the defense - 2017 NCAA Women's Lacrosse Semi Finals

Nadine Hadnagy - Maryland Defender - was the only defender named as a 2017 Tewaaraton Award Finalist. The IWLCA and Big Ten Defender of the Year, Hadnagy anchored Maryland's defense with caused turnovers and vocal leadership. Look for Julia Braig in the Maryland Defense to fill Hadnagy's leadership role to anchor the unit.

The Road to the Final Four

Quarter Finals - May 20, 2018

Both Maryland and Boston College played tough games in the Quarterfinals to advance to the Final Four at Stony Brook, Memorial Day weekend. After being down by three goals midway through the second half, Maryland came back to defeat Navy 17-15 on its home field in College Park, Maryland. Boston College faced Stony Brook University and also had to come back in the second half. Following a critical free position goal from Kaileen Hart, Tess Chandler scored twice to tie the score and send the game into overtime. The first overtime became a second, but Boston College ultimately defeated the Seawolves 12-11 in an emotional victory. It was a fast-paced game of lacrosse which will launch the BC Eagles into the Semi Finals and mark a heartbreaking loss for Stony Brook.

Maryland (17) vs Navy (15)
#44 Jenna Collins (Navy) vs #14 Julia Braig (Maryland) - 2018 NCAA Women's Lacrosse Quarterfinals

Maryland easily defeated Denver 15-4 in their first round after receiving a bye as the #1 seed of the NCAA Tournament. However, the Quarterfinal game against the Navy Midshipmen proved to be a much more difficult game. The Mids were ahead midway through the second half and threatened to upset #1 Maryland.

#22 Julia Collins (Navy) scored eight goals against Maryland - 2018 NCAA Quarterfinals

The Collins twins, seniors for Navy, proved to be a challenge for the Maryland defense with Julia Collins scoring eight goals and her sister, Jenna Collins, tallying four assists. The twins were in sync at College Park despite wet field conditions, but Navy was given seven yellow cards to Maryland's one, and the man-down time gave Maryland ample opportunities to score. Navy also gave up a series of free position shots towards the end of the time that allowed Maryland to crawl back into the game. In addition to penalties, the Midshipmen came up short on the draws, for Maryland's draw team dominated. Maryland's top midfielder, Kali Hartshorn, gave a stunning effort to help her team win control of the ball by both pulling with her left hand and pushing with her right. In total, Maryland came up with 21 draw controls where Navy had 13.

#16 Kali Hartshorn (Maryland) draws righty and lefty against #44 Jenna Collins (Navy)

Jen Giles, an all around great player for Maryland who dominated the midfield, was a major threat on the attack with four goals and three assists. But late in the second half, Giles suffered a crippling leg cramp off-ball. Look for Giles to be fully recovered and ready to go against Boston College on Friday.

#5 Jen Giles (Maryland) - 2017 NCAA Women's Lacrosse Finals
#5 Jen Giles (Maryland) suffers painful leg cramps - 2018 NCAA Quarterfinals

Caroline Steele, a natural lefty who provides an explosive dimension to the Maryland attack and has the hands and eyes to feed and the feet dodge to goal, is playing tough through a knee injury. Steele led the Terps on attack with six goals and one assist last year against Boston College in the Finals. Off the eight meter, Steele is dangerous with a lefty low riser that is difficult for any goalie to read. However, her agility and ability to shoot strong off of her right foot appear to be affected by the injury she is sustaining. She is a fighter though and will do everything she can to help her team.

#11 Caroline Steele (Maryland) led team with 6 goals in 2017 NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championship Game

Megan Whittle has had an impressive senior year as she has set a new record as Maryland's all time leading scorer and is closing in on 300 goals, but she only shot 3 for 10 against Navy. Credit goes to Navy's outstanding defense. By stepping up against Whittle to take a key charge in the first half, Navy took possession and set its attack in motion for a run that would put Navy up 10-9 at halftime. A Tewaaraton Award Finalist, Whittle has a nose for the goal and is relentless in the defensive ride, which could make it difficult for BC defenders to clear the ball.

#23 Megan Whittle (Maryland) charge against Navy - 2018 NCAA Quarterfinals
Boston College (12) vs Stony Brook (11) - 2OT

In another wet Quarterfinal game in Boston, Stony Brook and Boston College went head-to-head in a game that went into double overtime and ended with a feed from Sam Apuzzo to Dempsey Arsenault, who scored the winning goal. The final score was 12-11, Eagles.

Boston College defeats Stony Brook in 2018 NCAA Women's Lacrosse Quarterfinals

For Stony Brook, the heartbreaking overtime loss to Boston College was the only game the Seawolves lost this season, and it marked the end of an outstanding season. The Seawolves had dreams of making it to their program's first Final Four and of winning their first national championship. The dream was made better by the fact that the 2018 NCAA Final Four is to be played in their home stadium. For the dedicated seniors who have built Stony Brook into a powerhouse lacrosse program, the loss was devastating. Kylie Ohlmiller and Courtney Murphy each broke NCAA records on attack this year with their career goals, assists and points. Missing from Stony Brook's lineup on Sunday was key player, and Kylie's sister, Taryn Ohlmiller, who injured her knee in the previous game against University of Pennsylvania, which Stony Brook easily won 18-5.

#17 Kylie Ohlmiller and #18 Courtney Murphy battle a tough BC defense - 2018 NCAA Quarterfinals

Draws played a key role in the game, with Sam Apuzzo (7) and Dempsey Arsenault (9) dominating the circle to combine for sixteen of Boston College's 20 draw controls - compared to the meager 5 of Stony Brook. Boston College's dominance in the draw circle was impressive, especially considering that Stony Brook's Kerri McCarthy broke NCAA records this year with over 100 draw controls.

Boston College controlled 20 of the 26 draws against Stony Brook - 2018 NCAA Quarterfinals

Boston College's defense did an outstanding job limiting the high-scoring Stony Brook offense, which averaged over 18 goals per game in the regular season. In a key play in the final minutes of regulation time, Sam Apuzzo and Dempsey Arsenault double teamed Kylie Ohlmiller immediately out of a time out and successfully regained possession of the ball. The Eagles took the ball down the field and scored on a high feed to the tallest player on the field, Tess Chandler, to tie up the game and send it into overtime.

#2 Sam Appuzo and #18 Dempsey Arsenault steal ball from #17 Kylie Ohlmiller (Stony Brook) - 2018 NCAA Women's Lacrosse Quarterfinals

Other top plays came from Boston College's defenders - Brooke Troy and Elizabeth Miller - who literally blocked Kylie Ohlmiller and Courtney Murphy's shots at key moments of the game. Ultimately, each team had opportunities to score in both overtimes, but Boston College came out on top with the first goal in the overtime period, allowing the Eagles to advance to their second consecutive Final Four appearance.

#17 Kylie Ohlmiller (Stony Brook) vs #3 Elizabeth Miller (BC) and #28 Brooke Troy (BC)

Boston College vs Maryland

Maryland has the edge going into the games as the #1 seed and defending NCAA Champion, but Boston College has the experience and confidence to upset the Terps. Expect an incredibly physical game where the score's differential is determined by a few key plays. Maryland heads into the game with a total of 780 shots on the season, and Boston College trails close behind with their own 761. Both teams like to shoot and boast multiple scoring threats and strong defenses, so both ends of the field should see plenty of exciting goalie saves, goals, and caused turnovers. Draw controls will surely determine key possessions, and dominance in the draw circle, for either team, could develop the momentum and confidence necessary to win the game.

2017 NCAA Women's Lacrosse Finals - Maryland vs Boston College
#2 Sam Apuzzo (Boston College) vs #16 Kali Hartshorn (Maryland) - 2017 NCAA Women's Lacrosse Finals
#2 Sam Apuzzo (Boston College) shoots against Maryland defender #24 Julia Braig and Goalie #34 Megan Taylor - 2017 NCAA Women's Lacrosse Finals
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Leigh Ernst Friestedt


Leigh Ernst Friestedt @ equity IX