Women's Lacrosse

3 things Cathy Reese said before Syracuse’s NCAA semifinal matchup against Maryland

Courtesy of SU Athletic Communications

Cathy Reese's Maryland team has had Syracuse's number as UMD is undefeated against SU in the last four years.

Defending champion and No. 1 seed Maryland (21-0, 5-0 Big Ten) is set to play No. 4 seed Syracuse (19-5, 5-2 Atlantic Coast) in the national semifinals on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pennslyvania. The Terrapins eliminated the Orange in the NCAA tournament in each of the last three seasons.

Here are three things UMD head coach Cathy Reese said on the NCAA coaches teleconference on Monday:

Their previous matchup doesn’t matter much

The Orange and the Terrapins matched up earlier this season on March 12 in the Carrier Dome. Maryland came away with a 14-9 victory in that game. For Syracuse, that game ended up coming during a stretch when the team lost three of five games.

Despite the matchup coming just over two months ago, Reese didn’t really think that it would play much of a role in forecasting Friday’s game.

“For us, we played them way back in March, so that was a long time ago. I think both of our programs have really changed and grown since then,” Reese said. “All the teams develop over the course of the year. Your players get more confident playing with each other and both of our teams are in same situation were we’ve played a lot since then.”

Maryland is excited for the shot clock to come into play

Last year, Maryland beat Syracuse after holding the ball for the final seven minutes of the game with a two-goal lead. Over the summer, it was announced that a shot clock would be implemented to the game in 2017. Despite using the rules to her advantage, Reese said she’s actually been an advocate of the shot clock and is looking forward to its implementation.

“We’ve put in for that rule change since 2011, so it’s about time. We’re excited that this shot clock is gonna be put up. We’re a very high-powered offense, I think we’re one of the top in the nation in goals scored per game, and for us this is something we love. We love the high energy attack, we love the opportunity to continue to look for openings and opportunities,” Reese said.

“We’ll get to that change when it comes and deal with that as we move on. But I think it’s a change that will definitely help our game and help us as we move forward.”

Syracuse is one of the best programs in the country, despite not winning a national championship

On the teleconference, Syracuse head coach Gary Gait said that his program was one step below the top level program in women’s lacrosse history, despite making five straight Final Fours, saying, “We’re an elite program, we’re a top-four program, but we’re not the best yet.”

On the other hand, Reese showered Gait and the SU program with praise.

“I think any time you can get your program to the final four it’s pretty much to say you were an elite program that season. This is a tough spot to get to, it’s tough to get to your team to the Final Four,” Reese said.

“Gary (Gait) I think has done such a good job with Syracuse. They’re always a team that’s being talked about that has a high-powered offense and has really good defenses, won a ton of games and they play a tough schedule as well. They’re a program that’s out there, in the front. To be a contender in the Final Four for the last five years is pretty impressive.”

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