Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

75° Evanston, IL
Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Lacrosse Finals Precede: Breaking down the top-ranked Terrapins

TOWSON, Md. – If there’s one team that has had more success in the NCAA tournament than Northwestern, it’s the Wildcats’ opponent in Sunday’s National Championship game: Maryland. The Terrapins’ 10 national championships are more than any other team, while their seven consecutive titles from 1995-01 is also a record.After a nine-year title drought, the longest in program history, Maryland returns to the NCAA Championship game looking to dethrone five-time defending champion NU.”We’re super thrilled to be here,” Maryland coach Cathy Reese said. “This is what these guys have worked for all year and this senior class was my first class when I took the job at Maryland, so there’s nothing I want more than for them to have this opportunity on Sunday and they’ve earned it. They’re here and we’re going to go for it.”Coach Kelly Amonte Hiller is familiar with Maryland, as she won two national titles as a player there in 1995 and 1996. Amonte Hiller and Reese were teammates on Maryland’s 1996 NCAA Championship squad.”I have a lot of respect for Cathy,” Amonte Hiller said. “She was a tremendous player, always stepped up under pressure, and she’s done a great job there and really gotten the program to the highest level.”Reese, the 2010 ACC Co-Coach of the Year, returns to the title game for the first time since 1998, when she was named the tournament’s MVP.HOME SWEET HOMEThe Terrapins have won five of their 10 titles in the state of Maryland, most recently doing so at Johns Hopkins in 2001. That was also the last time Maryland was the top seed in the tournament.Last year, the Terrapins compiled an undefeated regular season record but were upset by North Carolina in the semifinals.”I remember sitting here last year and the question was, ‘What do you think about next year returning this group of players,’ because we have a lot of players returning off last year’s team,” Reese said. “This group in 2010 has so much heart. They have so much energy and so much excitement and so much passion for lacrosse and for the competition, and really love and enjoy playing with each other. That’s what I’m most proud of, the chemistry and heart this team has.”What’s more, Maryland has become a regular in the NCAA tournament. The Terrapins have played in 25 NCAA tournaments, winning 42 contests and advancing to 15 NCAA Championship games, all tops in the nation.DIPPER THE KEY ON ‘D’The Terrapins have held opponents to a nation-low 6.68 goals per game, and much of their suffocating play on defense starts with goalie Brittany Dipper. The sophomore has established herself as one of the top netminders in the country, limiting offenses to 7.13 goals per game.Dipper hit a rough patch towards the middle of the season, giving up 11 scores to Georgetown on March 17. Four games later against Towson, Dipper surrendered four goals in the first 10 minutes, prompting Reese to pull her and insert backup keeper Mary Jordan. Maryland topped Towson, 12-10, and since that game the Terrapins have given up more than 10 goals just once, in a 13-9 loss to North Carolina.”(Dipper) struggled a little bit earlier in the season, but she’s done a good job as of late,” Amonte Hiller said. “(Maryland) plays good team defense. They play together and I watched a little bit tonight. I thought they did a great job of stifling some of the top players on Syracuse and just played together.”QUICK TO ATTACKWhile Maryland’s defense tops the nation in scoring defense, its offense isn’t far behind. The Terrapins’ attack finished eighth in the country with 14.41 goals per game. With a point differential of 7.73 goals per game, Maryland is second behind NU (8.2). Karri Ellen Johnson leads the Terrapins on offense, as the 2009 ACC Freshman of the Year finished with a team-high 74 scores last year and is once again tops on the Terrapins with 66 goals in 2010.Maryland also boasts one of the most prolific midfield groups in the nation, highlighted by two-time ACC Player of the Year Caitlyn McFadden. The Tewaaraton Trophy finalist has recorded 48 goals and 34 assists, while proving key in shutting down opposing teams’ scoring threats. 2010 ACC Freshman of the Year Katie Schwarzmann joins McFadden in the midfield, and the rookie is fourth on the team with 30 scores. McFadden and Schwarzmann combined to hold Syracuse’s leading scorer, Christina Dove, to two goals.”(Schwarzmann’s) great on both ends of the field,” Reese said. “She’s so fast and can attack and has a great shot, but she’s also able to draw defenders and find people open.”[email protected]

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Lacrosse Finals Precede: Breaking down the top-ranked Terrapins