VILLANOVA, Pa. - Kelly McPartland scored three second half goals to lead top-seeded Maryland to its 17th NCAA title game with an 11-10 victory against Syracuse in the semifinals of the 2013 NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Championship Friday.
Maryland (22-0) reaped the benefits of six different goal-scorers on the day and put on a staunch defensive effort in the second half, holding Syracuse (18-4) scoreless in the final 18:31 of play.
Maryland landed on the board first, courtesy of ACC Rookie of the Year Taylor Cummings. The freshman tallied an unassisted goal 2:12 into the game for an early 1-0 Terrapin advantage. Aust padded that lead to two after a nice look from McPartland up the middle at 25:21.
Syracuse cut the cushion in half with a Kayla Treanor score at 21:56 before Cummings netted her second score of the game on a free position goal.
The two teams – which faced either in mid-February with Maryland earning the 19-11 result – exchanged goals for a 4-2 match before Treanor shrunk the Terps’ lead to one with a top shelf score with 8:41 remaining in the first stanza.
But Maryland got its offense running on all cylinders with time winding down in the first, outscoring the Orange 3-1 in the final five minutes, including a pair of devastating scores by Beth Glaros and Aust within 24 seconds of each other in the final 35 seconds. Katie Schwarzmann was instrumental to both goals with a pair of assists to help Maryland gain a 7-4 cushion at the break.
A scoring blitz ensued in the first 10 minutes of the second period, with Syracuse kicking off the flurry of goals with a pair to squeeze the Terrapin lead to one. Back-to-back goals by McPartland within a minute span set the score at 9-6.
But the game of runs continued with four unanswered goals by the Orange, including two by Treanor, to spark Syracuse to its first lead of the game at 10-9 with 18:31 remaining. It was the first time Maryland has trailed in the second half this season.
McPartland netted her third consecutive goal to tie the game two minutes later. And three huge defensive stops, including a pair of caused turnovers in the re-defend by Aust, helped set up a Brooke Griffin game-winner with 2:51 remaining for the win.
With a four-point showing, Schwarzmann became the fourth player in Maryland history to record 300 points in a career and moved into third all-time with 301. Aust added two goals and two assists and took over fifth place on Maryland’s career points list (273).
“I’d like to congratulate Syracuse on a great season and a great game. I think that game was exciting for everyone and tough to play in,” head coach Cathy Reese said. “Both teams came out and fought extremely hard. We are really excited to compete for a national championship Sunday…that’s the position we have wanted to put ourselves in all year. Proud of our team and our effort at this point and looking forward to the opportunity we have ahead of us.
Maryland will play for its 12th national championship Sunday when it faces North Carolina for the third time this season at 8 p.m. on ESPNU.