Maryland is leaving the Atlantic Coast Conference in style.
The Terps capped a distinguished league tenure with a 13-7 win against second-seeded Syracuse in Chestnut Hill, Mass., to win their sixth straight ACC championship.
Attacker Brooke Griffin (South River) had three goals and two assists as she finished with 15 points in three tournament games and Most Valuable Player honors. Midfielder Taylor Cummings (McDonogh) posted a hat trick and midfielder Kelly McPartland added two goals and three assists for Maryland (19-1).
After scoring a tournament-record seven goals in a semifinal win against fourth-seeded Virginia on Friday, Griffin opened the Terps’ scoring with back-to-back goals.
The Orange’s 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.
After Syracuse (17-2) attacker Kayla Treanor scored to tie the game at 2, Maryland answered with a 3-0 run with goals by Griffin, Cummings and McPartland.
The Terps took a 7-5 lead into halftime, and the Orange never got any closer. Maryland scored the first three goals of the second half and six of the first seven to cruise to the school’s 11th, and final, ACC title. The Terps join the Big Ten Conference in July.
In addition to Cummings’ three goals, she recorded seven draw controls and three ground balls to lead the Terps, both game highs. Cummings joined Griffin, McPartland, and defenders Alice Mercer (Century) and Casey Pepperman (McDonogh) on the 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,” 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.
Maryland is expected to be the top seed in the NCAA tournament, the field for which will be announced Sunday.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun