Surprise element key for UM

college lacrosse no. 6 maryland women 15, no. 3 duke 13

Varied offense, second-half surge too much for visiting Blue Devils

March 01, 2009|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,

College Park -There's a new look to the Maryland women's lacrosse team this season after graduating eight starters, but that doesn't mean the Terrapins can't handle their best competition.

The No. 6 Terrapins showed varied looks on offense and made critical defensive plays yesterday, using a second-half run to push past No. 3 Duke, 15-13, in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams at Maryland's Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex.

"What's tough about preparing for Maryland is that they're a very new team," Duke coach Kerstin Kimel said. "Last year, it was almost easier to prepare for them because the players had been playing together for so long and you kind of knew what they were going to do."

Against Duke, which had beaten the Terps twice last season including the NCAA quarterfinals, Maryland (3-0, 1-0) used a variety of set offenses to outshoot the Blue Devils 32-23 with Laura Merrifield scoring five goals.

Trailing 10-9 early in the second half, the Terps scored four straight times to spark a 6-1 run.

Caitlyn McFadden (Notre Dame Prep) hit Amanda Spinnenweber (Chesapeake-BC) cutting uncovered down the middle to give the Terps a 13-10 lead. Duke got one back on Kat Thomas' goal with 14:06 to go. Karri Ellen Johnson (Broadneck) made it 14-11 on a pass from Brandi Jones with 12:52 left.

The Blue Devils (4-1, 0-1) then picked up two yellow cards within 10 seconds of each other and had to play two players down for three minutes starting at 12:36. Johnson scored her third goal of the game on a free position with 11:31 to go, giving the Terps their largest lead, 15-11.

"We tried to spread them out and make them come to us and just look for openings from there," McFadden said of the Terps' offense down the stretch. "Once they got down, we knew they had to come out and attack us, so we knew we had to use that to our advantage, spread them out and be able to take those lanes to goal."

After that, two big defensive plays on Duke's attacking end helped the Terps hold on to that four-goal edge most of the rest of the way. Katie Gallagher intercepted a pass next to the crease and Maeve McKew knocked down a pass behind the goal to preserve the margin until Emma Hamm and Lindsay Gilbride scored for the Blue Devils in the final 39 seconds.

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