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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.