#ACCWLAX Quarterfinals: Championship Semifinal Field Set

Photo by Eric Canha, theACC.com


Maryland to face Virginia on Friday; Syracuse to take on North Carolina

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CHESTNUT HILL, Massachusetts (theACC.com) – Top-seeded Maryland (17-1) got off to a fast start in pursuit of its sixth straight ACC Women’s Lacrosse Championship title. 

Hallie Majorana scored four goals and assisted on two more as the Terrapins scored on a 14-9 win over eighth-seeded Virginia Tech in Thursday’s opening quarterfinal game at Alumni Stadium. Maryland advanced to face Virginia in Friday’s 1 p.m. semifinal.

Other quarterfinal action saw fifth-seeded Virginia nudge fourth-seeded Duke, 7-5, while second-seeded Syracuse downed seventh-seeded Notre Dame, 16-11, and third-seeded North Carolina topped sixth-seeded host Boston College, 14-10.

The Championship continues on Friday with a pair of semifinal games at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.  The Maryland-Virginia  matchup will be followed by Syracuse versus UNC. Both Friday games will be carried by the ACC’s Regional Sports Network (RSN) with Mike Hogewood handling the play-by-play and Leah Secondo working as sideline analyst.

For more information on the 2014 ACC Championship, please see http://theacc.co/WLAXcham.

“I was really proud of our team today” Maryland coach Cathy Reese said following Thursday’s win over Virginia Tech. “We saw a lot of really good things from a lot of people. Having just played Virginia Tech last weekend (a 22-12 win for the Terps), we had some things we wanted to improve on and I think we did that today. I give Virginia Tech a lot of credit because they came out hard and really challenged us all over the field.”

Taylor Cummings added three goals for the Terps, while Zoe Stukenberg and Beth Glaros added two goals each.

Megan Will delivered a hat track for the fourth straight game to lead Virginia Tech (7-10), while Jack Boissonneault and Kelly Naslonski each found the net twice.

Six different players scored goals in the first 12 minutes of the match to key the Terps to a 6-0 lead. The Hokies then found their bearings, closing within 8-5 at the 5:42 mark on a pair of goals by Will that came just over a minute apart.

But Cummings answered for Maryland with her third goal of the opening half, and Kristen Lamon added a score off an assist from Kelly McPartland to give the Terps a 10-5 lead at the break. Marjorana powered in a pair of goals in the first 8:34 of the second half, and Maryland was back in firm control.

Maryland outshot Virginia Tech 30-20 and forced 20 turnovers while committing 15. The Hokies held a 14-11 edge on draw controls, but the Terps won the ground ball battle, 21-17.

“I am just really proud of how our team came out and competed,” Virginia Tech coach Megan Burker said. “We stuck to the game plan and I think the biggest thing we struggled with was our turnovers. I think that came back to bite us at the end of the game, but overall we stuck to our game plan and fought hard. I think that made us successful until the end.”

No. 5 Virginia 7, No. 4 Duke 5
The Cavaliers (10-7) broke open a tie game with three unanswered goals down the stretch and advanced to the ACC Championship semifinals for the for the third-straight year.

The teams battled to a 3-3 tie at the break. Casey Bocklet delivered a hat track in the first 25:38 of the game to account for all of Virginia’s first-half scoring. Kerrin Mauer and Taylor Trimble each had a goal and an assist for the Blue Devils in the first 30 minutes, and Maddy Acton accounted for Duke’s other first-half goal. Virginia All-ACC keeper Liz Colgan made eight first-half saves.

The match remained knotted for the first 11 minutes of the second, but the Cavaliers then struck for two goals in a span of 26 seconds. Liza Blue – who starred Virginia’s win over Duke in last year’s ACC Championship quarterfinal match – scored her 45th goal of the season to break the tie, and Maddy Keeshan followed off an assist from Courtney Swan to put Virginia in front 5-3 with 18:14 remaining in the match.

Kelly Boyd scored off an assist from Bocklet eight minutes later for a 6-3 Virginia lead. Duke finally broke through in the second half with 7:15 remaining, when Maddy Morrisey slammed a shot home to pull the Blue Devils back within two. But Duke could never get closer, as the teams traded goals in the closing minutes to account for the 7-5 final.

“I obviously think both teams came in desperate for another win,” Virginia coach Julie Myer said. “I think we’ve both had nice seasons, and we are very comparable teams.”

Bocklet added an assist to go with her three goals, and Colgan finished with 10 saves for the Cavaliers. Kelsey Duryea made seven saves in goal for the Blue Devils. The teams were deadlocked on ground balls with 13 apiece, and Duke held a 25-18 edge in total shots, but Virginia led 11-3 in draw controls. The Blue Devils (9-7) fell short despite committing just four turnovers. 

“The two things that stand out to me are we failed on two of our biggest strengths this season – the draw and our shooting percentage,” Duke coach Kerstin Kimel said. “We were 5-of- 25 (shooting). We outshot Virginia, which is a great stat, but we didn’t finish on enough shots. I think Virginia did a great job on the draw.”

Duke remains hopeful of receiving an NCAA at-large bid, while Virginia heads into Friday’s quarterfinal game in hope of avenging a 13-8 loss to Maryland on April 13. The Cavaliers’ win on Thursday followed a 16-11 regular-season loss to the Blue Devils on March 22.

“We just played Maryland a couple weeks ago, so it is a recent prep for us,” Myers said. “We got to watch some of their game against Virginia Tech today, and there is probably not a better team out there than Maryland. Our hands will be full with the challenge.”

No. 2 Syracuse 16, No. 7 Notre Dame 11
Senior Alyssa Murray scored five goals in the first half, and the Orange fended off determined Notre Dame for the program’s first-ever ACC Women’s Lacrosse Championship win.

The Orange (16-1) appeared set to cruise to victory when it built a 10-3 lead in the early stages of the second half, but the Fighting Irish did not go down without a battle. Notre Dame (9-8) outscored Syracuse 6-1 over a span of just over eight minutes to close within 11-9 with more than 18 minutes remaining in the match. 

It could have gotten even closer, but a save by Syracuse keeper Alyssa Constantino, followed by Kayla Treanor’s goal off a pass from Murray allowed the Orange to regain a three-goal edge. Notre Dame did not get closer, and the Orange padded its lead in the fading minutes.

“I thought it was a great game,” said Syracuse coach Gary Gait. “It was a very strong Notre Dame team that never gave up. They kept fighting back, and I thought our players never got frustrated. They just stayed positive and finished the game. Notre Dame went on a couple runs, but we responded pretty well. 

“I thought our two big attackers had exceptional games today and I thought they handled the defensive schemes Notre Dame threw at us. I was happy with everyone’s play.”

Murray, who scored three goals in last Saturday’s 18-10 win over the Irish to close the regular season, scored a hat trick by the 19:02 mark of Thursday afternoon’s rematch. Murray now ranks third on Syracuse’s all-time women’s lacrosse list in career goals scored with 207.

Treanor added a hat trick and four assists to Syracuse’s winning effort, including a pair of goals after Notre Dame closed the gap in the second half.  Amy Cross also finished with three goals for the Orange. Syracuse outshot the Irish, 23-21, while Notre Dame held an 18-15 edge on ground balls.

Caitlin Gargan led Notre Dame with three goals and three assists. Lauren Sullivan also had a hat trick for the Fighting Irish.

“Congratulations to Syracuse,” said Notre Dame coach Christine Halfpenny said. “I think that they came in and did a really nice job. Alyssa Murray and Kayla Treanor are a big one-two punch for them.”

Still, Halfpenny felt the Irish acquitted themselves well as they faced one of the nation’s top teams for the second time in less than a week.

“I couldn’t be more proud of my team,” she said. “I think that (in)having to play Syracuse five days after we just saw them, we really worked hard on concentrating on the areas of our game we wanted to fix and we absolutely did that … I couldn’t be more excited about where this team is headed.”

No. 3 North Carolina 14, No. 6 Boston College 10
While technically the “home” team, third-seeded North Carolina earned what amounted to a road victory in turning back the host Eagles.

Abbey Friend led the Tar Heels’ scoring with five goals – four in the first half – and Sydney Holman added a hat trick as UNC (14-3) survived a stern test from the Eagles for the second time this season.

“Obviously we are happy for the win and have a lot of respect for Boston College,” UNC coach Jenny Levy said. “They have had a great season this year and we knew it would be a tough game, especially playing on their home field. Overall I felt we played a really complete game, which was our goal.”

The defending NCAA champion Tar Heels, who are seeking their second ACC Women’s Lacrosse Championship title and their first 2002, improved to 6-0 all time in tournament quarterfinal games. UNC won on the Eagles’ home turf for the second time in just over a month after edging BC by a 14-13 score in the regular-season meeting between the teams at Newton, Mass., on March 22.

“We wanted to get better from the first time we played up here earlier in the season, and I thought our defense did a great job,” Levy said. “We did well on the draw and we won the little battles. I thought on the offensive end we controlled the tempo and we played well as a team defensively.”

Friend’s four goals in the opening 30 minutes keyed the Tar Heels to a 9-6 halftime lead. UNC then outscored the Eagles 4-1 to open the second half – with Sydney Holman scoring twice and Molly Hendrick and Devin Markison scoring once each – to establish some breathing room en route to the semifinals.

UNC built a six-goal edge and wound up needing that cushion, as goal by Moira Berry and two more by Mikaela Rix in a span of less than three minutes pulled BC within 13-10 with just under eight minutes to play. But the match evolved into a standoff from there until the Tar Heels’ Friend added an insurance goal in the final seconds.

Rix finished with four goals for the Eagles (12-5), and junior Covie Stanwick and Barry added two goals apiece.

“It was a tough loss for us today,” BC coach Acacia Walker said. “I think we were pretty prepared for the game but Carolina is just very strong. They have so many threats and so much speed and we have to put a 60-minute game together to beat a team like this.”

“(But) the season isn’t over and there is a lot to look forward to and a lot of time to get better … so we have to get back at it tomorrow. “

Syracuse and UNC squared off on April 12 during the regular season, with the homestanding Orange claiming a 12-9 win.

A total of 1,074 fans viewed Thursday’s four-game session.