TopOfTheCircle.com

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March 11, 2018 — Business as usual, Part II

Since Syracuse started fielding a women’s lacrosse team in the mid-1990s, it has always tried to emulate and follow the best. And, of course, test each other on the field of play.

But when it comes to the Orange and the University of Maryland, the rivalry has been decidedly one-sided.

And with today’s 18-11 win by the Terrapins, the overall ledger in this rivalry is one win for Syracuse, and 22 wins for Maryland. The only time Syracuse has ever beaten Maryland was March 10, 2012 — six years ago yesterday. That was a game when Maryland outshot Syracuse 30-20, but goalie Alyssa Constantino had a remarkable game and Michelle Tumolo majestically controlled the midfield.

But in today’s game at the Carrier Dome, the Terps got good performances from several players. Kali Hartshorn was her usual excellent self in the draw circle (and occasionally on the wing), winning seven draws. Taylor Hensh had five goals, and Caroline Steele added four.

Megan Whittle, the senior attacker, had three goals, two assists, and five draw controls. She also extended what could prove to be a record-breaking statistic by the end of the season. She went 2-for-3 on 8-meter free position chances and is a stellar 18-for-22 (82 percent) on the season.

Now, I don’t know when NCAA teams started regularly capturing free position conversion rates in StatTracker-esque software, but I’m pretty sure that, with the improvements in both the quality of goalie and in terms of tactics by defenders on free-position opportunities, that you might have to go back to the wooden-stick era in order to find someone making as many as four out of five free-position opportunities for a season.

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