Lacrosse Notebook: Scouting Maryland

The Syracuse women's lacrosse team hits the road on Thursday to head down Villanova, Pa., to participate in the NCAA women's lacrosse tournament Final Four. The Orange will face the No. 1 overall seed Maryland. Full scouting report inside.

The Syracuse women's lacrosse team will face another familiar regular season opponent in No. 1 overall seed Maryland (20-0) in the NCAA women's lacrosse tournament semifinals on Friday, May 24, at 7:30 p.m. at Villanova Stadium in Villanova, Pa. The winner will face either North Carolina or Northwestern in the championship game on Sunday, May 26.

Previous matchup: Maryland got the best of Syracuse early on in the season back on February, 17, winning 19-11. It was only the second game of the year for both teams. The Terrapins' trio of seniors Katie Schwarzmann and Alex Aust as well as freshman Taylor Cummings combined for 16 of the 19 goals that contest. Schwarzmann led the Terrapins with seven goals on the afternoon.

Heading into halftime, Syracuse was down just two, however, it was in the second half that Maryland broke free offensively. Netting the first three goals, the Terrapins extended its lead to 11-6 at the 26:37 mark. Schwarzmann would not be denied after intermission as the senior netted four of her seven goals after intermission.

Freshman of the Year nominees: Syracuse isn't the only one with a sensational freshman on its team. Maryland boasts a dynamic underclassman in Taylor Cummings, too. Both are at the top of the list when it comes to being recognized for Freshman of the Year.

Treanor has stepped up in the absence Michelle Tumolo after the senior went down against Cornell with an ACL tear. The freshman has filled in on the right side of attack and has paced an Orange offense that is explosive at virtually an angle on the field. While she may not have the foot quickness like Tumolo, Treanor gets it done with her strength and ability to finish.

Cummings enters Friday night's contest leading the team in draw controls (85). The freshman has 38 goals and 18 assists on the season and a key part of Maryland's high-flying offense. Cummings had her coming out party against the Orange back in February, contributing five goals and grabbing six draw controls. The midfielder is impactful on both ends (she also has 21 caused turnovers) and makes the team just that much better when she is in for the Terrapins.

High-flying offense: One thing is for sure, this will be a high scoring affair on both ends. Syracuse is No. 2 in scoring offense (15.33 gpg) while Maryland is right behind them at No. 3 (15.19 gpg).

Maryland's top scorers:

Katie Schwarzmann: The 2012 Tewaaraton Award winner picked right up where she left last season, accumulating 54 goals and 24 assists on the year so far. Schwarzmann is also a 2013 finalist.

Alex Aust: The undisputed quarterback of this team, the senior has had one of the more balanced seasons for an attacker, racking up 67 goals and 52 assists. Aust is the complete package, a savvy field general that sees the entire field from behind the crease. She is a sound decision maker who can dish it off to her teammates or take it herself. She is also a 2013 Tewaaraton Award finalist.

Brooke Griffin: The redshirt sophomore is the team's third leading scorer behind Schwarzmann and Aust. The midfielder has chipped in 46 goals and 21 assists.

Additional game notes: Like most teams, both Syracuse and Maryland has improved dramatically since the beginning of the season. Both coaches agree that there will be some tweaking when it comes to the game plans this week. Other notable points are:

•The Orange did not use its trademarked zone backer defense against the Terrapins. It was showcased roughly two games later against Towson.

•In its game against Florida, Syracuse switched it up and bounced back-and-forth between a man and zone. At some points in the contest, I thought the Orange did a great job disguising its defenses. It left Florida in the dark in terms of offense. I see the Orange doing the same thing but with a different twist. Assistant coach Regy Thorpe has said in the past that this team has multiple sets on defense. The goal is not to be predictable.

•The goalie situation has changed also for the Orange as sophomore goalkeeper Kelsey Richardson now starts. Maryland saw Alyssa Costantino get the start in goal back in February. Both goalies, for the most part, have split time. In the game against Florida, Richardson started the first and Costantino finished play in the second half. Together they had nine saves.

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