TopOfTheCircle.com

Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

Archive for May 23, 2019

May 23, 2019 — Inside the Final Four, part 2

MARYLAND vs. NORTHWESTERN

The obvious: There will be one Big Ten Conference team in Sunday’s championship final … these teams have met a number of times in the NCAA final … Think of this: one or the other of these two sides was in the NCAA final every year between 2005 and 2017

The not-so-obvious: Though both Cathy Reese and Kelly Amonte-Hiller are from the same coaching tree, there’s no love lost between these two coaches … Rivalry between the two came to a head in the 2010 final, a game in which the Wildcats could have stretched an early lead to six but for a bench penalty called while Northwestern was on an odd-man break

Key players: UMD: Caroline Steele, sr., f; Kali Hartshorn, jr., c; Megan Taylor, sr., g; NU: Selena Lasota, sr., f; Izzy Scane, fr., f; Brennan Dwyer, so.,c

UMD wins this game if: Hartshorn is able to win the ball to herself against Dwyer … Lizzie Colson is perfect on clearing the ball into the final third … Taylor makes more than 12 saves

NU wins this game if: Lasota gets five or more goals … Dwyer gets more than 50 percent of draw controls … the box-and-2 defense works again on Steele and Jen Giles as it did in the Big Ten final

The skinny: Maryland is in an odd position at the moment: the No. 1 seed, even while most of the American women’s lacrosse punditry had Boston College winning the championship … Draw control battle between Hartshorn and Dwyer is going to be fun to watch … Lasota is one of the finest attacking players ever, and it’s stunning that this is going to be her first Final Four match

The unanswered question: Taylor has stolen a number of games for the Terrapins over the years. Can she do it again if Northwestern’s attack is as sharp as it was in the Big Ten final?