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Archive for February 24, 2018

Feb. 24, 2018 — Flipping the script in three minutes

In today’s women’s lacrosse showdown between the two teams that have won the last five NCAA titles — North Carolina and Maryland — the Terps did something that they rarely do: lose the lead in the final minute beginning with a possession in which they had the ball.

This is, frankly, understandable. Maryland has won so many more games than it has lost in the last quarter-century, often by double digits, that it doesn’t have much practice in end-of-game situational awareness.

And there is so much that has to run through players’ heads. What’s on the game clock? How many possessions does that mean? Is the other team running a shutoff? Do I take a layup if I get it?

Maryland, which usually gets it right, managed to let a one-goal lead slip away, allowing the Heels’ Marie McCool, late a member of the U.S. World Cup team, to get the golden goal 33 seconds into extra time.

McCool, who now has to be a heavy favorite for Tewaaraton honors later this year, is being bolstered by two outstanding freshman recruits in Jamie Ortega and Ally Mastroianni. Both accounted for about 550 goals each for their schools during their scholastic careers, and they are both coming up trumps in Carolina blue. Their outstanding field awareness and shooting skills were difference-makers in this matchup.

Somehow, I think we’re going to see both of these teams in late May.