Preview: Women's lacrosse semifinals

at Johnny Unitas Stadium, Towson University

May 27, 2010|By Katherine Dunn, The Baltimore Sun

No. 1 seed Maryland (20-1)

vs. Syracuse (15-6)

Today, 5:30 p.m.

Outlook

The Terrapins are in the final four for a record 18th time, gunning for an 11th national championship, while the Orange makes its second trip to the semifinals in search of its first title.

The two did not meet during the regular season, but Maryland, which has never lost to the Orange, won last year's NCAA quarterfinal, 12-10. This season, they had six common opponents. The Terps were 7-0 against them while the Orange went 4-4, including two losses to Georgetown that were avenged in the NCAA opening round.

Maryland's attack, led by attack Karri Ellen Johnson (64 goals, 16 assists), ACC Player of the Year and midfielder Caitlyn McFadden (44, 34) and attack Sarah Mollison (40, 28), will test Syracuse goalie Liz Hogan, who set a single-season school record with 202 saves, more than double the saves of Maryland starter Brittany Dipper, who faced about 200 fewer shots. The Terps' defense, allowing 6.76 goals per game, will need another strong effort against midfielder and Bel Air native Christina Dove (67, 27) and attack Tee Ladouceur (43, 45).

—Katherine Dunn

No. 2 seed Northwestern (19-1)

vs. No. 3 seed North Carolina (17-2)

Tonight, 8

Outlook

North Carolina was the only team to beat the five-time defending champion Wildcats this season, taking an 18-16 victory that ended Northwestern's 41-game home-field winning streak. A year ago, however, Northwestern routed the Tar Heels in the national championship game, 21-7.

The Wildcats have won a record 23 straight NCAA tournament games. Since the April 30 loss, the Wildcats have had just one close game, 11-8 in overtime against Virginia, winning their past seven games by an average of almost 11 goals.

The Tar Heels have won 11 of their past 12, falling only to Maryland, 10-5, in the ACC championship game.

The Wildcats are led by midfielder-attack Katrina Dowd (74 goals, 32 assists), who had a career-high game in the loss to the Tar Heels with seven goals and eight assists, and midfielder/attack Shannon Smith (64, 30). Attack Corey Donohoe (52, 21), a North Harford graduate, leads the Tar Heels, along with a pair of versatile midfielders, Jenn Russell (32, 9) and Mount Hebron grad Megan Bosica (29, 12).

—Katherine Dunn

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