Lacrosse: Four left standing

Colin Becht

As NU heads to Stony Brook for the NCAA Semifinals, The DAILY’s Colin Becht runs down each team’s tourney thus far.

Maryland (1): The Terrapins have returned to their top form after a late-season slip up against Dartmouth. Maryland crushed Navy 19-6 in a game in which the Terrapins led by 10 at halftime. They then easily defeated Princeton 15-6 despite a simply unreal performance by Princeton goaltender Erin Tochihara. Tochihara made 14 saves, but it still wasn’t enough to even keep the Tigers in the game. Maryland goalie Brittany Dipper, who leads the nation in save percentage, made sure of that by outdoing Tochihara with 15 saves. The Terrapins remain the favorites to repeat as NCAA champions.

Duke (5): Of the teams in the semifinals, the Blue Devils have certainly had the toughest route to Stony Brook, N.Y. In the first round, Duke had to fight off a pesky Penn team that refused to go away but ultimately succumbed 12-9. Despite jumping out to a 9-4 lead early in the second half, the Blue Devils had to subdue a late rally by the Quakers to avoid an upset. Duke then went on the round of eight and came out with a 13-9 win over fourth-seed Florida. The Blue Devils blew a 6-3 halftime lead and actually trailed entering the final 15 minutes of play. However, like Northwestern, Duke rallied against the Gators to score the final five goals of the game, earning the Blue Devils their sixth trip to the national semifinals.

North Carolina (3): NU’s semifinal opponent easily moved into the second round by downing Virginia 15-7 in the Tar Heels’ tournament opener. North Carolina led by as much as nine thanks to Kara Cannizzaro and Laura Zimmerman who combined to score seven times. The Tar Heels’ route to Stony Brook got much more interesting in the second round as they defeated Loyola 16-13 despite getting outshot by the Greyhounds. North Carolina however was the more efficient offensive team, scoring its 16 goals on just 24 shots. Though the game was quite a shootout, the Tar Heels got a clutch performance from goalie Lauren Maksym, who made eight saves in the second half to help preserve the win.

Northwestern (2): The Wildcats had a far tougher time surviving the first round than the second as they struggled in an 11-8 win over Boston College but followed up that shaky performance with an 18-4 beatdown of Albany. NU struggled from sloppy passes that led to turnovers against the Eagles. However, junior attacker Shannon Smith came up clutch with five goals and two assists to lead NU onward. The Cats had no trouble with Albany, tying their high for goals in a half this season with 13 in the first half. NU simply cruised through the second half as the defense held the Great Danes to one goal after halftime. Smith scored five goals for the fourth consecutive game in the rout. The Cats should continue the high caliber of play exhibited against Albany in a win over North Carolina in the semifinal.