In a rematch of the 2017 National Championship game, the Maryland women’s lacrosse team came up short against the fourth-seed Boston College, falling 13-15. The Eagles (22-1) advance to the National Championship game for the second year in a row, where they will face No. 3 James Madison.
“I’m really excited about the team win tonight,” Boston College head coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein said. “I told them at the beginning of the game that it was going to take everything that they had— our cleanest, most aggressive lacrosse game— to beat Maryland, and I think they really delivered on that.”
The top-seeded Terps (20-2) held a 6-2 lead over the Eagles in the first half but could not stop Tewaaraton Award finalist Sam Apuzzo from scoring four goals, including the two game-winning goals for Boston College.
“She’s another phenomenal player… and there’s a reason Sam Apuzzo is a Tewaaraton finalist too,” Maryland head coach Cathy Reese said. “I thought Julia Braig had a really nice defensive game for the most part against her, but sometimes we would missed a help… and she’s a player that’s so dangerous that she’s going to score that.”
Junior goalie Megan Taylor finished the game with 13 saves, but it ultimately was not enough to hold back Apuzzo and the Eagles’ offense.
The Terps’ offense, led by sophomore attacker Kali Hartshorn’s four goals, kept the score close throughout the second half until Apuzzo broke the back-and-forth scoring pattern. Senior attacker and leading scorer for the Terps, Megan Whittle, was shut down by the Eagles’ defense, scoring only a goal in the finale of her illustrious Maryland career.
At the start of the matchup, it was all Maryland. Junior attacker Caroline Steele scored the first of the Terps’ three goals within the first three minutes of the game, and Hartshorn was right behind her with another to put the Terps up 2-0.
With the momentum at their backs, junior midfielder Jen Giles scored the Terps’ third goal before the Eagles even had an offensive possession.
Boston College put a halt to the Terps scoring fest, as junior midfielder Dempsey Arsenault got the first goal for Boston College past Taylor, but the balance tilted back toward the Terps when Hartshorn scored her second on a free position shot.
Senior attacker Taylor Hensh followed Hartshorn with a free position goal of her own, which brought the Terps’ early lead to 5-1 with 22 minutes to go in the first half, but the Eagles struck back with a goal from redshirt senior Tess Chandler to cut the Terps’ lead to three.
Apuzzo, who is the leading goal-scorer and ACC Attacker of the Year, brought the Eagles back to life with her first goal of the night and marked the start of a comeback. Junior Taylor Walker snuck a free position shot past Taylor and soon after, senior attacker Kaileen Hart brought the Eagles within one. Add a goal from sophomore midfielder Cara Urbank, and the score was tied 6-6 with just over nine minutes left in the half.
“Sometimes we can get ahead of ourselves,” Giles said. “When the momentum shifts it’s really hard to stop that. I think we just needed to step up and make a stop and unfortunately we weren’t able to.”
The Eagles took their first lead of the night on an Urbank free position shot before a Giles hard-fought response to tie the score once again at 7-7. Whittle helped the Terps regain the lead with her only goal of the night with 3:46 left in the first.
The back-and-forth scoring continued, and the score was tied 8-8 going into halftime.
The Eagles picked up right where they left off, scoring only 31 seconds into the second half as Urbank capped a hat trick. Both Giles and Hartshorn earned their own hat tricks, and brought the Terps back up 10-9.
Boston College came storming back with two straight goals from Apuzzo and Chandler, and though Hensh temporarily tied the score at 11-11, the Eagles reclaimed the lead off Arsenault’s second goal with just over 19 minutes left in the game.
Hartshorn scored her fourth goal of the game, putting a Giles assist past junior goalie Lauren Daly, but Arsenault tallied a hat trick and quickly took back a one-goal lead.
Freshman midfielder Grace Griffin tied the score 13-13 with her first goal of the game, but ultimately, Apuzzo would score the last two goals of the game to give the Eagles the 15-13 advantage – a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
The Terps finished their season with a 20-2 record, undefeated at home and as Big Ten regular season and tournament champions.
“Losing is not fun for anyone,” Reese said. “It’s tough to see this group’s season end. I don’t think any of us were ready for that. But you never are, and I’m just proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish this year.”
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