No. 1 Maryland leads Northwestern 5-2 at halftime in the second of Friday’s two national semifinal games. Here are some stats and some quick reaction.
- Jess Carroll and Christy Turner have NU’s only two scores. The Cats went scoreless in the final 20 minutes.
- The slow pace favored NU early but Maryland started to extend pressure on defense with double teams and has sped the game up to its liking. The Terps scored the final four goals of the first half to take a somewhat comfortable lead into the break.
- Alyssa Leonard is struggling to make an impact. All-American defender Megan Douty has faceguarded the NU senior on every offensive possession. Leonard did have one assist to Jess Carroll but Leonard’s only won two draw controls. Taylor Cummings has three draws and is outplaying Leonard. Douty’s making it tough, but Leonard needs to be more aggressive on offense to create more opportunities for her teammates.
- The focus has been on Cummings, but it was attacker Brooke Griffin and midfielder Kelly McPartland who paced the Terps in the first 30 minutes. Griffin (1G,2A) played a part in each of Maryland’s first three goals. McPartland leads all scorers with two goals. (She could have four though, as two of her scores were nullified.)
- Kerri Harrington has done a decent job on Cummings, who was held to just one goal. This needs to continue.
- Bridget Bianco came up with some big saves to keep the Cats within striking distance. She’ll need to be fabulous in the second half.
- Kara Mupo looked really shaky. She had two, and nearly three, ugly turnovers and hasn’t done much offensively. She needs to get going if NU has any chance of catching up and winning this one.
- Kat DeRonda has also been silent. She and or Kate McDonald has to step up and create some offense.
- The Cats played very solid defense on Maryland. It’s Northwestern’s offense that needs to kick in. Leonard has to win more draws and play with more aggression and Mupo and DeRonda need to play smarter and take better shots. This one’s far from over but NU has get going offensively to pull it out.