May 14—HIGH POINT — High Point University will face one of the better defenders in the country when it squares off against Maryalnd today in the first round of the NCAA women's lacrosse tournament at Duke University. Faceoff is at 7 p.m.
HPU (10-7) enters on a four-game winning streak and victories in eight of the last nine games. All of that success came in a 6-0 run through the Big South regular season and two wins in the Big South tournament.
The Terrapins, ranked No. 12 in recent polls, provide a step up in competition despite a 9-6 record that includes a 6-5 mark in the Big Ten, which is stacked with ranked teams.
The defending national champs, Maryland has two recent wins over top-20 Johns Hopkins, a split with top-25 Rutgers, two losses to top-20 Penn State and three losses to top-five Northwestern, the most recent in the Big Ten tournament title game.
The Terrapins, who are seeking their 12th straight Final Four appearnace, are led on defense by Big Ten Defender of the Year Lizzie Colson, who leads the nation in caused turnovers with 42 and leads the conference in groundballs with 51.
Maryland will be trying to stop a Panther attack that features Abby Hormes, one of the top scorers in the nation with 75 goals, and Ashley Britton, who has 43.
Hanah Leubecker is the Terps' top attacker with 53 goals, which ranks 16th in the nation.
The teams have met once before, a 21-6 NCAA second-round win for the Terps after HPU posted its only win in six trips to the tournament. Maryland went on to win the national championship, one of their record 14. The Terps also hold the record for most tournament appearances with 36.
The matchup is the second of two at Duke today. The Blue Devils face Mount St. Mary's at 3 p.m. The winners meet at 1 p.m. on Sunday, also at Duke.