Division I semifinals
(At Johnny Unitas Stadium, Towson University)
No. 1 seed Maryland (21-1) vs. No. 5 Northwestern (14-6)
Friday, 7:30 p.m., ESPN3
Outlook: The Terps and the Wildcats get a jump on next year's inaugural Big Ten season as the two most successful programs in Division I history meet for the 14th time. Maryland aims for its 12th national title, while the Wildcats are going after their eighth. Maryland leads the series 7-6, but Northwestern has won four of the last five meetings. Each team won its last national championship over the other — the Terps in 2010 and the Wildcats in 2011. In last year's final four, both fell to eventual champ North Carolina – the Terps, 13-12, in triple overtime in the final. This spring, Atlantic Coast Conference champion Maryland has been ranked No. 1 or No. 2 all season, with its only loss to North Carolina. The Wildcats have had an up-and-down season, but they avenged two losses to Florida, including one in the American Lacrosse Conference championship, with a 12-11 double-overtime victory in Saturday's national quarterfinals. The Wildcats have played nine 10 one-goal games and lost five, including two in overtime. They've won by an average of 2.74 goals per game, while Maryland has won by a 6.95 average. Against seven common opponents, the Terps were 6-1 and the Wildcats 5-2. The key to the game likely will be draw controls. With senior A Alyssa Leonard — Division I's all-time career leader — winning 160, the Wildcats have won 62 percent of the draws this spring. Maryland, led by sophomore M Taylor Cummings' 116, has won 64 percent. The Terps need that initial possession to jump-start an offense that has scored 105 more goals than the Wildcats; the Wildcats need it to slow that down. Maryland has four players — Cummings (McDonogh, 59 goals, 23 assists), junior A Brooke Griffin (South River, 57, 21), junior M Kelly McPartland (57, 31) and senior M Beth Glaros (Wilde Lake, 47, 5) — with more points than the Wildcats' top scorer, Leonard (40, 11). Junior A Kara Mupo (38, 9) and senior A Kat DeRonda (35, 10) have also been key for Northwestern's attack.