CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Top-seeded Maryland capped an illustrious conference tenure with a spectacular 13-7 win against No. 2 seed Syracuse to capture its sixth-straight Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Lacrosse Championship Sunday at Alumni Stadium.
ACC Championship Most Valuable Player Brooke Griffin finished the day with three goals and two assists and registered a staggering 15 points in three games during the tournament. Taylor Cummings posted a hat trick and Kelly McPartland recorded five points on two goals and three assists as Maryland moved to 19-1 in 2014.
Maryland utilized a decisive 10-3 advantage in the draw – led by five from Cummings – to amass a 7-5 lead through 30 minutes of play. After totaling a tourney-record seven goals in the semifinals against Virginia Friday, Griffin picked up right where she left off against the Cavaliers, putting the Terps on the board with the first two scores of the game at 27:24 and 23:13.
Alyssa Murray slashed the Terrapin lead in half with a score at 19:17 after 10 minutes of superior possession play by Maryland. Kayla Treanor knotted the game at two apiece with a free position goal at 18:06 before Stukenberg put the Terps back on top with a goal off a Griffin dish with 17 minutes to play.
Following another Treanor score at 15:21, Maryland rallied for a critical 3-0 run, highlighted by goals from Griffin, Cummings and McPartland for a 6-3 lead with 12:55 to play in the first.
Treanor scored her third goal of the stanza with an unassisted tally a minute later and both teams exchanged goals, with Jen Mendez getting in on the scoring for Maryland, before the break.
Mendez picked up her second goal of the game after shoving a loose ball into the back of the net to move Maryland’s cushion to three 1:50 into the second period before Cummings extended it to five for a 10-5 contest with a pair of goals at 23:29 and 16:21.
Following a goal by Syracuse’s Katie Webster, the Terps continued their stifling pressure in their re-defending effort to force yet another turnover in a Syracuse clear attempt and set up a fast break goal by Beth Glaros off an assist from Cummings for an 11-6 lead with 13:14 remaining. The goal sparked a punishing 3-0 run for a seven-goal advantage before Webster picked up one final tally with under a minute to play for a 13-7 final.
The ACC title is Maryland’s 11th (1997, ’99, 2000, ’01, ’03, ’09, ’10, ’11, ’12, ’13, ‘14) and last before heading to the Big Ten in July.
In addition to Cummings’ three goals, the sophomore Tewaaraton nominee recorded seven draw controls and three ground balls to lead the Terps. Cummings joined Griffin, McPartland, Alice Mercer and Casey Pepperman on the ACC Championship All-Tournament Team.
“It’s been an emotional day for us. The history and tradition of Maryland women’s lacrosse within the ACC has been so significant,” head coach Cathy Reese said. “This was a special moment and this is a championship that I am so proud of. It feels really good. Reflecting on this game and us coming together and playing the historical Maryland brand of lacrosse couldn’t make me prouder.
“Congratulations also to Syracuse, they played great today too, and we knew we were going to have a very tough game today. I really thought our team executed our game plan perfectly on both ends of the field today and our defense really played well, especially in the second half.”
Maryland will await the announcement of the 2014 NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Championship, which will take place Sunday, May 4.