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WLAX: No. 6 Orange to Take On No. 1 Terps in Highly Anticipated Matchup

Syracuse faces its toughest challenge yet, as it travels to College Park, MD to take on the top team in the nation in the University of Maryland.

#5 Kelly McPartland goes against Syracuse #77 Maddy Huegel in the NCAA Championship Game
#5 Kelly McPartland goes against Syracuse #77 Maddy Huegel in the NCAA Championship Game
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Today, the No. 6 ranked Syracuse Orange women's lacrosse team (5-1, 1-1 ACC) heads slightly south to face the No. 1 team, the Maryland Terrapins (4-0, 0-0 Big 10). It will be the toughest hurdle yet for Syracuse, and the first meeting between the teams since last year's NCAA Tournament championship game.

The Terrapins have faced the likes of William & Mary, No. 2 ranked UNC, Hofstra, and UMBC so far this season. They took care of all but UNC pretty handily, winning those games 15-5, 14-6, and 14-7. UNC gave them their money's worth on February 22nd. Three players scored hat tricks for Maryland, senior midfielder Kelly McPartland, junior midfielder Taylor Cummings, and freshman attacker Megan Whittle, leading them to victory. Cummings, McPartland and Taylor Griffin led the team last year in goals scored with 63, 61, and 62 respectively. McPartland was also a Tewaaraton nominee. Cummings leads the team in goals scored with 13 this year. Redshirt Senior goalie, Alex Fitzpatrick, a transfer from Lehigh, has gotten the bulk of the minutes so far this season with 16 saves and 15 goals against.

The Orange are coming off of a heartbreaking loss to No. 3 (No. 6 at the time) Boston College, their first of the season and first ever to the Eagles. Kayla Treanor was a non-factor in the game, but she still paces Syracuse with 21 goals. Halle Majorana, a Maryland transfer, is second with 14 goals and 14 assists, giving her the team lead in points with 28 to Treanor's 25. Kailah Kempney has been as consistent as ever at the draw, with 59 draw controls, and is third on the list in goals scored with 11. In goal, Kelsey Richardson has seen all but 17:36 minutes of action for the Orange, with 40 saves and 59 goals against, leading to a .404 save percentage.

In their previous meetings, Syracuse has lost the last 13 games to the Terrapins, their overall record 1-16. On paper, that doesn't bode well for the Orange, but no games have ever been played on paper. Syracuse also faced No. 8 Virginia this past week, beginning a week of tough games against the Cavaliers, the UConn Huskies, and ending with the Eagles. The Orange has also had a week off to get ready for their matchup against the number 1 team in the nation.

Update: The game time has been moved to 2:00 p.m. EST.