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May 19, 2015 — Inside the Division I Final Four: Syracuse vs. Maryland

SYRACUSE
Record: 16-7
Against the Final Four (2-2): beat Duke 14-10, lost to Maryland 10-7, beat North Carolina 9-8 AET, lost to North Carolina 15-8.
Key players: Kayla Traynor (jr., A), Halle Majorana (jr., A), Kayla Kempney (sr., A), Brenna Rainone (jr., D), Kaeli O’Connor (so., D), Kelsey Richardson (sr., G)Intangibles: Majorana has played in the NCAA Tournament the last two years — but as a member of the Maryland Terrapins. Taylor Gait, after three knee operations, is playing the best lacrosse she’s played in several years. The team has rallied together after defensive midfielder Kelly Cross was suspended in late March after running her truck into a staircase on the Syracuse campus.
The skinny: Whenever it’s counted, Maryland has had the Orange’s number. The Terps lead the all-time series 17-1.

MARYLAND
Record: 19-1
Against the Final Four (2-0): beat North Carolina 13-11, beat Syracuse 10-7.
Key players:  Taylor Cummings (jr., M), Megan Douty (sr., D), Megan Whittle (fr., A), Kristen Lamon (sr., A), Brooke Griffin (sr., A), Zoe Stukenberg (so., M), Nadine Hadnagy (so., D)
Intangibles: The Terrapins have played some of their best lacrosse in the second half, blowing open close games with a tornado of goals in the opening minutes after the interval.
The skinny: Maryland isn’t playing just for a national title this weekend, but is playing for a place in history. This may be the finest Maryland team ever put on the pitch; even better than the teams with Quinn Carney, Jen Adams, Sonia Judd, Tori Wellington, Allison Comito, and Courtney Martinez. Perhaps the loss to Ohio State in the Big Ten Tournament will take a bit of pressure off them, but you get the feeling this is a team on an unerring path to the final.

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