No. 1 Terps women pull away to beat No. 3 Duke, 18-11

Maryland scores twice in the final 40 seconds of first half to take control

  • From left, Maryland's Katie Schwarzmann, Kristy Black and Karrie Ellen Johnson celebrate Schwarzmann's second-half goal.
From left, Maryland's Katie Schwarzmann, Kristy Black… (Baltimore Sun photo by Lloyd…)
February 26, 2011|By Rich Scherr, Special to The Baltimore Sun

COLLEGE PARK — — The top-ranked Maryland women's lacrosse team battled No. 3 Duke up and down the field for the first 29 minutes of Saturday's Atlantic Coast Conference opener, continually trading goals in a game that looked like it was destined to go down to the wire.

Then the Terrapins found second gear.

Tied at seven, Maryland closed out the half with two goals in the final 38 seconds, then went on to score seven of eight over an 11-minute span, pulling away from the visiting Blue Devils in an 18-11 win.

"I thought we had a great second half," Maryland coach Cathy Reese said. "We were able to change some things at halftime, really make some adjustments defensively and just step it up in the second half. And that was what we needed to do to come away with this win."

Sophomore Katie Schwarzmann (Century) and junior Kari Ellen Johnson (Broadneck) each scored four goals for the Terrapins (4-0 overall, 1-0 ACC), who improved to 42-1 at home during Reese's tenure and defeated Duke (3-1) for the fourth straight time since 2009.

This one, however, was quite different than last year's 17-4 rout, with the Blue Devils (3-1) rallying from an early 2-0 deficit to take the lead on three separate occasions in the first half. Paced by redshirt junior Emma Hamm (3 goals, 2 assists) and senior Christie Kaestner (2, 3), Duke kept the pressure on Maryland by winning draws and beating the Terrapins to ground balls.

Then, in the final seconds of the half, the tempo of the game changed — quickly.

Following a point-blank save by Maryland goalie Brittany Dipper, attacker Kristy Black gave her team the lead for good with 38 seconds left. Schwarzmann followed moments later with a goal from a severe angle to the left.

Another goal by Schwarzmann just 22 seconds into the second half made it 10-7, giving Maryland its first breathing room of the day.

"It took a while to break them," said senior Sarah Mollison (three goals, two assists). "It was coming out focusing on what we wanted to do — coming up with the draw, playing our game, taking care of the ball on offense and sticking our shots away. That worked for us and we were able to pull away."

By the time Schwarzmann and Beth Glaros (Wilde Lake) scored back-to-back goals on free positions within the span of 14 seconds early in the second half, Maryland had built its lead to 13-8.

"I felt like our group kind of lost their composure," Duke coach Kerstin Kimel said. "We gave up two goals in the last 40 seconds of the half, then we came out and played tentative in the second half. We made some uncharacteristically poor decisions."

The win was the first real test of the defending national champion Terrapins following lopsided victories to open the season against Richmond, Delaware, and Penn State.

"Obviously it's a confidence booster," said Mollison. "But we have a target on our back, and each team is out to get us. We have to take one game at a time, and not take any for granted. We have to keep fighting."

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