Denver Women’s Lacrosse falls to Maryland in NCAA Quarterfinals, 17-8

Photo: Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

The Terps (#1 seed, 20-1) raced out to a 9-3 first half advantage and coasted to a convincing win over Denver (16-4) Saturday in College Park, Maryland.

Denver had their chances in the NCAA quarterfinal match with 15 first-half shots but only 6 on-goal. Maryland’s offense was much more efficient (79% scoring) with 14 shots on-goal in the first half. Denver faced a stout Terrapin defense that held Denver scoreless for a 17 minute stretch during the first half to build their substantial lead. Maryland was led by 4 goals from Caroline Steele in the half.

Maryland came out firing in the second half and built a 10 goal advantage by 18:29 of the half which started a running clock. Elizabeth Behrins made the score 14-5 at 12:51 to cut the Maryland advantage to 9 goals but, again, Caroline Steele countered with her 7th goal of the night in less than a minute to re-build Maryland’s 10 point advantage. The teams traded goals the balance of the half until Denver’s Kendra Lanuza scored for the Pioneers with 15 seconds left to make a 17-8 final score.

Denver had four players with a pair of goals each – seniors Kendra Lanuza, Julia Feiss and sophomores Bea Behrins and Quintin Hoch-Bullen.

It was the best ever finish for Denver women’s lacrosse but showed that the Pioneers have work to do if they want to take the next step. And, no doubt, Maryland showed why the are the #1 seed in this season’s NCAA tournament.

The loss marked the conclusion of Denver Athletics team sports for the school year after one of the best all-around department performances ever. Bianca Mok is playing tennis singles Monday.

2 thoughts on “Denver Women’s Lacrosse falls to Maryland in NCAA Quarterfinals, 17-8”

  1. Just finished watching the game on DVR. Congrats to the team on fantastic season of growth and advancement. Getting to the NCAA Elite 8 is a huge accomplishment that a ton of other teams could not match, and these athletes did every Pioneer fan proud to playing to the best of their abilities this year in a record-setting season.

    That said, there is a HUGE gap between where DU is, and where a top-ranked team such as Maryland is. The Terps were much quicker, more precise and more skilled at just about every position on the field, and the game outcome was never in doubt after the first 10 minutes. DU had no answer to contain Maryland’s Caroline Steele, who had a career day with seven of Maryland’s 17 goals.

    For the Pios, they needed to have big games from Eliza Radochonski and Carson Gregg to have a chance to stay in the game, but both players struggled to make the kind of impact they needed to make. Radochonski had 4 shots on goal, but none of them went in the net. And Gregg, who normally lets in about 7 goals per game as the goalie, got torched for 11 before getting the hook by coach Liza Kelly.

    Finally, the Pios went without a single free-position goal, while Maryland buried about half of the FP chances they had, and DU was also manhandled on draw controls, which wasn’t just a Maryland problem, but seemed to be a problem in the playoffs in general, as well as all season long, where Denver finished 74th out of 115 teams.

    On the optimistic side, DU’s most explosive player, Quintin Hoch-Bullen, is only a sophomore, and Radochonski and Gregg also have more time in a Pio uniform. The future is very bright, and the Pioneers are going to need even more speed and skill to make it to the next level…

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