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Archive for May 25, 2019

May 25, 2019 — Notes on a semifinal round that was historic and a little weird

  • The last time an NCAA Final Four in women’s lacrosse was held at Homewood Field, the ancestral home of American lacrosse, was May of 2001. In the last game held there, the final between Maryland and Georgetown, both starting goalies — Alexis Venechanos and Bowen Holden — were pulled from the contest as their opposing teams made runs.
  • Oddly enough, none of the four starting goalies last night managed to play the entire game. Boston College’s Abbey Ngai was pulled in the first half for Lauren Daley after giving spotting UNC a six-goal lead, while Taylor Moreno of North Carolina was pulled for Elise Hennessey in the second half as the Eagles pulled themselves level in the second term. Mallory Weisse was pulled from the Northwestern goal as Maryland asserted its offensive dominance in the second half, while Maryland’s Megan Taylor was pulled in the final two minutes with the result secured.
  • Speaking of results, the two semifinal games were the highest-scoring NCAA semifinal round games in history. The four teams combined for 69 goals, more than 17 goals per team on average, which has not happened in any of the three NCAA divisions.
  • Indeed, there was almost an historical oddity: never have all four national semifinalists ever scored 15 goals in their games. Northwestern fell two short of joining its three sister teams in the feat.
  • That’s because the Wildcats went scoreless the last 19 minutes of the match, a power outage that is going to be the team’s main focus of motivation and conversation between now and the start of fall-ball.
  • Northwestern fell despite having a minor edge in the center draw; the Wildcats had 20 controls and Maryland 19, and the Wildcat midfielders managed to hold the Terps’ Kali Hartshorn to five draws controlled. But Maryland’s Lizzie Colson and Erica Evans were also credited with five draw controls each.
  • The final several minutes of regulation and overtime in the Carolina-BC game were about attacking “the wedge,” that area of about 33 3/4 degrees from the edge of the fan to goal-line extended on either side of the crease. Usually, it’s a pretty difficult shot because of the tight angle, but Sam Apuzzo, on the game-winning goal, was able to make it work.
  • The second game was delayed some 20 minutes because of an unusual event: the first time a substitute was made for a shot clock.