Taylor Cummings, Maryland send Syracuse to 10-8 loss in NCAA tournament semifinals

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on May 22, 2015 at 10:10 pm Contact Jon: [email protected] | @jmettus CHESTER, Pa. — As the entire Maryland bench emptied onto the field, Syracuse defender Brenna Rainone crouched away from the rest of her teammates, staring at the ground.The Terrapins fans erupted into cheers and Orange defender Mallory Vehar slowly walked over to Rainone, wrapping her arms around her.On one end of the field, UMD players were jumping up and down in a huddle. On the other, SU’s slowly walked into a group, some wiping their eyes.“It sucks,” Syracuse goalie Kelsey Richardson said, her voice wavering. “I really didn’t want to go home today.”For the third time in as many seasons, Syracuse’s postseason run ended with Maryland, this time in the final four. The fourth-seeded Orange (16-8, 3-4 Atlantic Coast) fell to top-seeded Maryland (20-1, 5-0 Big Ten), 10-8, in front of a crowd of 5,994 at PPL Park on Friday. Reigning Tewaaraton Award winner Taylor Cummings starred in the draw circle for the Terrapins, helping her team win 14 out of 20 draws, and also added six points, which was too much for SU to overcome.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIn a season where the Orange had enacted revenge on four teams to win the ACC championship and advance in the NCAA tournament, it failed to get that revenge against the team that’s had its number the most.“It’s an incredibly good Maryland team and everybody knows that,” SU head coach Gary Gait said. “We came up a little bit short on the draw controls. I think that was the biggest difference in the game.”Syracuse draw specialist Kailah Kempney and Cummings stepped into the circle for the opening draw. The ball flung out to the side and was picked up by Zoe Stukenberg. The Terrapins went on offense before Cummings found a cutting Kristen Lamon for a goal.Back in the circle again, Cummings popped the ball straight into the air, jumped and grabbed it cleanly with her stick. After two wasted possessions by Maryland and SU, Cummings found Lamon backdoor again.The large contingent of Maryland fans in the stands erupted into cheers of, “When I say red, you say white.”Just two draws and two Maryland goals into the game, Syracuse replaced Kempney, third in NCAA history in draw controls, with attack Kayla Treanor in the draw circle, but the results didn’t change.Cummings won the third draw to Maryland midfielder Erin Collins. On the ensuing possession, Terrapins attack Brooke Griffin stood behind the net, waiting, until Cummings ran toward the cage past her defender for an open pass and goal.“It’s four seconds of focus and we knew the draws were going to be huge,” Cummings said. “Once we were able to get the draw I think we could settle down a little and play our way on the offensive end.”The Orange altered its usual backer defense, electing to face guard Terrapins attack and leading goal scorer Megan Whittle with Rainone, but it left players open in front of the net.At the end of the half, UMD led Syracuse, 7-5, and 10-3 in draw controls. The Orange constantly switched between Kempney and Treanor in the circle and multiple other players around it. At one point, SU attack Halle Majorana, who hasn’t been on the draw team all year, nearly ran to the outside of the circle before Gait waved her off.Syracuse opened the second half with a quick goal that had fans in the stands waving signs spelling out “Cuse” and another with a hand drawn Orange, but Cummings countered with a draw win and an assist, starting a three-goal run for the Terrapins that spanned the next 10 minutes.“If you don’t go to her she’s just going to the net and score some goals,” Gait said of Cummings’ assists.With seven minutes left in the game, Treanor scored her second straight goal to cut Maryland’s lead to 10-8 with plenty of time to muster two goals, provided SU won the draw.But it didn’t. For the 14th time in the game Maryland won the draw and it was Cummings who helped snag it.Maryland began running out the clock and eventually time ran out on Syracuse’s season. Once again, Maryland was the team celebrating on the other end of the field.“Tough game,” Gait said. “It seems like it’s always Maryland and once again, today so …” Commentslast_img read more