Heading into Saturday's NCAA women's lacrosse quarterfinal at Maryland, the No. 1 item on Loyola coach Jen Adams' scouting report was draw control.
The Greyhounds did a good job on the draw at first and were within a goal of Maryland early in the second half, but once the Terrapins started running away with all the draws, they ran away with the game.
The No. 3 Terps won the last nine draws in an 8-2 second-half run that powered a 17-11 victory over the No. 6 Greyhounds at Maryland's Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex before an announced 963.
For the fourth year in a row, coach Cathy Reese's Terps advance to the national semifinals, where they will meet the winner of Saturday night's late quarterfinal between defending champion and No. 2 Northwestern and No. 7 Duke on Friday night in Stony Brook, N.Y.
Saturday, in the first meeting between close friends and former Maryland teammates Reese and Adams, the Terps (19-3) earned their 20th trip to the final four, where they will go after their 11th NCAA championship, the most recent having come in 2010.
Both teams needed the draw to jump-start their fast-break offenses, but Maryland senior Karri Ellen Johnson, who won nine draws, proved too tough to handle for the Greyhounds, who lost their best center before the season started. The Terps won 20 of 30 draws and 10 of 14 in the second half.
The Greyhounds, who led 5-3 early, were within one early in the second half, but after Brooke Griffin (South River) scored on a feed from two-time Tewaaraton trophy finalist Katie Schwarzmann to boost the Terps lead to 10-8, Maryland won the next nine draws.
Griffin, a redshirt freshman, scored all four of her goals in the run, Schwarzmann, who posted career highs with four goals and eight points, had two goals and an assist.
Loyola (14-6) pulled within three with 12:50 to go on a goal by Allison Habicht (Loch Raven), but the Terps reeled off four in a row to boost their lead to 17-10 when Alex Aust fed Schwarzmann (Century) with 4:27 left.
"Cathy always says that possession is key," Schwarzmann said, "and we knew coming in at halftime that if we wanted to stay up, we had to come out here and fight for those draw controls and Erin [Collins] did a great job, Karri Ellen, everyone out there getting those draws."
The Greyhounds had a chance to build momentum coming out of halftime when they opened with five straight shots, but Terps goalie Brittany Dipper saved four — half of her total saves — and one sailed wide. Loyola scored twice after that, but the Terps maintained their lead.
The Terps' attack needed a little time to get used to the style of Loyola goalie Kerry Stoothoff, who is not afraid to come far out of the goal to upset the offense. Stoothoff, who has a .486 save rate, made some point-blank saves among her eight for the day.
"She's one of the most active goalies we've faced all season, so we knew … that we needed to see it," Reese said. "You can simulate it in practice, but our goalies aren't that active and we needed to make sure we were finding our openings and putting it around her. Once we did that, we were able to open up our opportunities. We were getting better looks at cage."
The Greyhounds, who got five goals and an assist from Hannah Schmitt, suffered a huge loss midway through the first half when one of their key freshmen attackers, Annie Thomas (John Carroll), who runs much of the offense from behind the goal, went down with a knee injury.
In addition, a young Terps defense did a terrific job holding Loyola midfielder Marlee Paton without a goal. The Greyhounds' leading scorer, who had one assist, had scored at least one goal in 25 previous games.
Goals: L—Schmitt 5, Dalton 2, Habicht 2, A.Thomas, S. Thomas; M—Schwarzmann 4, Griffin 4, Johnson 2, Black 2, Aust 2, McPartland 2, Collins.
Assists: L—Paton, Schmitt, A.Thomas; M—Schwarzmann 4, Johnson 2, Aust, Black, Griffin.
Saves: L—Stoothoff 8; M—Dipper 8.