This Friday, Boston College women’s lacrosse will take on Maryland in the 2018 NCAA Semifinals. BC Interruption traded Q&A’s with Sean Montiel from Testudo Times in advance of the rematch of last year’s championship game. Check out Sean’s answers below to get a Maryland fan’s perspective on the game...
This is a big rematch of last year’s championship game. How do you think this Maryland team differs from last year’s? How is it the same?
For a program as storied as Maryland’s is, not much changes from year to year. Sure, stars leave after four years just like the rest of the country. But Cathy Reese recruits as well, if not better, than anyone else does. When a premier player moves on from Maryland, another takes her place and replicates that success. The team lost Zoe Stukenberg and Caroline Wannen on the offensive end, but transfer Meghan Siverson and freshman Grace Griffin have plugged the holes. Defensively, Kathy Rudkin, another transfer, has proved invaluable. And Lizzie Colson was on the team last year, but she’s been a new player here in 2018. Despite all of the role changes, the biggest difference may be the team’s record. Unlike last year, Maryland has one loss thus far, an overtime loss to North Carolina. But don’t be fooled, this team is just as good as the one that preceded it.
What Maryland players should BC fans look out for?
Many stars from the 2017 national championship team remain. Leading the charge on offense is Megan Whitte, who has 83 goals this season. She now sits just three away from the 300-goal milestone, and she’d be just the second player in NCAA History to accomplish the feat. The defense is strong thanks to Lizzie Colson and Julia Braig, both of whom are All-Americans this season. That unit is anchored by reigning National Goaltender of the Year Megan Taylor whose play has improved greatly over the past few weeks.
What is Maryland’s biggest strength?
Maryland’s biggest strength is depth, especially on the offensive end. While Whitte, Caroline Steele, and Jen Giles lead the team in points by a wide margin, any player can score for the Terps at any given moment. That was evident in the team’s quarterfinal victory over Navy, as the first seven goals of the game were all scored by different players.
Where has Maryland struggled this season?
An area in which the Terrapins have struggled is getting away from their style of play. When the team is running efficiently in its system, there aren’t many schools out there who can stop Maryland. But once in a while, ball movement ceases and the offense gets stagnant. It’s in those times that the team is most vulnerable.
What does BC need to do if they want to win this game?
For Boston College to win, it’ll need to disrupt Maryland’s offensive rhythm. That involves taking Megan Whittle out of the picture and clogging passing lanes. And in extreme circumstances, the Eagles will need to foul often to keep the Terrapins off-balance.
What is your prediction for the outcome?
Boston College is a great team, but these Terrapins seem to have a date with destiny for another national championship. After a close call with Navy, Maryland won’t take any chances allowing the Eagles to stay within striking distance. Give me a score of Maryland 16, Boston College 10.