Top seeds Maryland, Boston College to face off for NCAA women’s lacrosse championship – ESPN
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Top seeds Maryland, Boston College to face off for NCAA women’s lacrosse championship – ESPN

By Vicki L. Friedman | May 24, 2019

Specific to espnW

Sam Apuzzo scores a double-time beyond regulation target to defeat UNC, allowing for Boston School to advance to the national championship for a 3rd straight calendar year.

BALTIMORE — Here we go yet again for Boston College or university women’s lacrosse. The Eagles are in the national championship match for a 3rd consecutive season but nevertheless in lookup of that elusive happy ending.

The Eagles (22-one) will have to acquire down the sport’s normal bearer if they are to capture their initial NCAA women’s lacrosse title.

Boston University will encounter off from Maryland (21-1), a thirteen-time NCAA winner, Sunday at noon ET on ESPNU at John Hopkins’ Homewood Discipline. It can be a rematch of the 2017 national championship match, and these Eagles have purpose to imagine they can soar after triumphing fifteen-14 over North Carolina in Friday’s exhilarating national semifinals. No surprise that Sam Apuzzo, the reigning nationwide player of the calendar year, obtained unfastened for the video game winner 1 minute, 12 seconds into the second additional time.

It was Boston College’s 35th shot of a thriller that aired on ESPNEWS but is a guaranteed applicant for ESPN Common. Even Tar Heels mentor Jenny Levy touted the energy despite her workforce slipping in the semifinals for the second consecutive year.

Patrick Smith/Getty Visuals

Maryland’s Jen Giles (5) celebrates her 2nd-fifty percent objective towards Northwestern with teammate Brindi Griffin. The Terrapins’ twenty five plans are the most objectives they scored in a match beneath mentor Cathy Reese in her thirteen seasons.

“A 15-14 extra time thriller on ESPNEWS way to go, women’s lacrosse!” Levy stated. “10 thousand folks in the stands. We’re striving to grow this recreation, and we set on a display tonight.”

Announced attendance was essentially 8,508, but this position was pumped and packed.

And that was before Maryland, participating in significantly less than an hour from its campus, exploded for the most goals in an NCAA women’s semifinal. It was however a further milestone for the school’s all-time winningest coach, Cathy Reese, in her thirteenth year. In profitable 25-thirteen, the Terps led wire to wire from Northwestern to avenge their only decline of the time.

“It’s late, we are fatigued, but that was a heck of an energy by our staff tonight,” Reese explained at a information meeting a number of minutes just after midnight. “To continue to keep our foot on the gasoline and perform as very well as we did in opposition to a top rated crew like them is good.”

It was Reese’s three hundredth job victory, 269 of them coming at her alma mater.

The nightcap lacked the drama of the 1st video game but had a different variety of tension, beginning twenty five minutes late owing to a shot-clock malfunction. Northwestern (16-5) gained the attract count by just one, but most of the sport was an offensive onslaught that provided ten scores by two unrelated Griffins. Junior Brindi Griffin scored six situations. Sophomore Grace Griffin additional 4 aims.

Even defender Julia Braig scored a goal — the initial in her 4-calendar year job.

“It was seriously great,” mentioned Braig, beaming from that as very well as from keeping the Wildcats to one of 7 free-situation shots.

Patrick Smith/Getty Pictures

Boston College’s Sam Apuzzo celebrates following scoring the activity-profitable objective against North Carolina during the second extra time of the NCAA women’s lacrosse semifinals.

As heralded as the Terrapins are in these parts — fans in crimson lined the streets to cheer the workforce bus as it approached the personal stadium showcasing the 4 finest groups in the activity — this night will be remembered for the Boston College’s gritty perform.

The Apuzzo laser that introduced Tar Heels goalie Elise Hennessey to her knees was the end result of a gritty effort and hard work that could have performed out either way. Hennessey made a brilliant preserve at the conclusion of regulation, and Carolina senior Gianna Bowe observed a shot strike the publish in the very first overtime.

But, as regular, Apuzzo was clutch. Soon after the rating, the Boston College star twirled all around subsequent to the cage, the place she was quickly fulfilled by fellow All-People in america Kenzie Kent and Dempsey Arsenault.

“Wonderful players make excellent plays in the moment,” Levy said.

“Let us go!” Apuzzo shrieked, racing to the sideline, the place her aged neighborhood close friends from Very first Street back again in West Babylon, New York, held up a cutout of her confront, sharing hugs and superior-fives more than the fence.

A 50 %-hour later on, Boston College’s most adorned star at any time sat pretty much expressionless in the workforce news convention, unwilling to get caught up in winning the one prior to the big 1 again.

“The ladies all-around have been carrying out their work and creating it simple for me and I had a one particular-v-1. I took my possibility and was able to end, luckily,” was all Apuzzo would say about her 269th career intention, a program mark she retains together with the most draw controls and points.

Forgive Apuzzo for refusing to get much too enthusiastic in spite of her staff rallying from a six-intention deficit. She’s currently in the books with each sizeable particular person honor. Staying in this location two times prior to and coming away empty on the final working day has a way of subduing even a instant as huge as Friday’s, when the Eagles avenged their only decline of the time, to these very same Tar Heels (17-four) in the ACC championship activity.

“We’re seeking to continue to be composed and not enable our nerves get to us, generating guaranteed we’re using it enjoy by enjoy and not finding overwhelmed by the cameras and all that things and focusing on our staff and what we will need to get performed,” Apuzzo said. “This yr we are seriously remaining regular and remaining quiet.”

Two decades back, the Eagles had been the hometown favourite in the finale a coach trip from their own Chestnut Hill campus. Substantial Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, hosted the team’s very first vacation to the championship. The position was so overwhelmingly big that BC supporters wore brilliant yellow T-shirts so the Eagles could place them in the stands, a custom that ongoing in Friday’s cozier location. Back again then, dual-sport star Kent, an excellent ice hockey participant for the Eagles, amassed 10 details and turned the first participant in event record to gain the Most Exceptional Participant award for a staff that didn’t earn. Rather it was who else but Maryland that prevailed, sixteen-thirteen.

Very last 12 months Apuzzo was the unflappable a person, sneaking her workforce past the Terrapins in the nationwide semifinals, a victory that finished Boston College’s -fourteen streak vs . Maryland. But much less than 48 hrs later, the Eagles were being outplayed by James Madison sixteen-15.

So the giddiness right after Friday’s successful goal promptly gave way to the “just one game at a time” mantra that has outlined the Eagles this year.

“Just one perform at a time,” is how Boston College’s Lauren Daly described the comeback work that noticed the Eagles rally from trailing five-, 7-1 and 8-three. A gritty North Carolina protection, with confront guards protecting against the trio of Apuzzo, Kent and Arsenault from doing their usual damage, stymied the Eagles’ offense to begin with. But that still left unheralded Cara Urbank free of charge to go off. And she did, with a group-significant four ambitions.

“We slowly and gradually came back again and ended up on leading,” Urbank explained.

That’s in which Maryland stayed through its semifinal. Now a closing game is all that is remaining for the two groups.

“I want to go out there and have entertaining. I get 60 additional minutes with my most effective mates,” claimed Maryland senior goalie Megan Taylor, credited with 14 will save. “In my 4 yrs, I constantly wanted to participate in 22, 23 game titles, and last calendar year we arrived up a very little little bit quick. The seniors didn’t get to don the Maryland uniform just one previous time. Now we do.”

“The last four was four wonderful groups and I assume that the countrywide championship could have been any one particular of the 4 teams,” Northwestern coach Kelly Amonte Hiller explained. “Of course, BC has a whole lot of fire to want to acquire this, a thing they have not achieved, but I think Maryland in all probability has an equal amount of money of fire. It will be a good recreation, a great showcase for our activity.”