May 26, 2012
STONY BROOK, N.Y. - Despite a gutsy, three-goal showing from Katie Schwarzmann, No. 3 Maryland fell to No. 2 Northwestern 9-7 in the semifinals of the 2012 NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championship Friday.
Maryland (19-4) fell short of the title game for the first time since 2009. Schwarzmann finished the match with three goals, bringing her season total to 72 and tying the fifth-highest mark in Terrapin single-season history. Kristy Black, Karri Ellen Johnson, Kelly McPartland and Brooke Griffin all added one goal apiece.
The Terps wasted zero time getting its offense running with a goal only 11 seconds into Friday's rematch of last season's title bout. Griffin put the Terps on the board first off a nice assist in transition from Black.
The two teams exchanged goals for the opening 12 minutes of the match until Northwestern managed a two-goal spurt to gain its first lead of the game with 15:16 left in the first half. Maryland would counter with three unanswered goals to cap the first stanza and begin the second. Schwarzmann netted two and Johnson accounted for the other in Maryland's biggest run of the game.
NU (20-2) then recorded the longest scoring stretch of the game with a time-consuming 4-0 run and managed to secure possession for a 12-minute span in the middle of the second half before obtaining an 8-7 lead. Taylor Thornton netted an open-net, free position goal to cap the game's scoring at 9-7.
Maryland managed only one draw control in the second stanza and a mere five in the match.
The Terrapin defense was stout once again but was burdened by a season-high six yellow cards, including three down the final stretch. Senior Brittany Dipper tallied five saves in the cage. Iliana Sanza was in the middle of another spectacular postseason performance with three ground balls and two caused turnovers before being served a second yellow card with 16:19 remaining in the game.
"Congratulations to Northwestern and Syracuse...I'm looking forward to seeing a great game for the national championship," head coach Cathy Reese, who's squad advanced to its fourth straight NCAA semifinal this season, said. "The main difference was draws. We did a better job in the first half, but couldn't get free. One thing we should have done better was finish our opportunities."
Friday night's contest was the collegiate finale for Johnson, Black, Dipper and Bria Phillips. The Terps will return nine starters from this year's squad in 2013.