An All-American lacrosse star from Long Island will add national championship to her list of accomplishments.
It's just a matter of which one.
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Top-ranked Maryland and Farmingdale's Kelly McPartland faces No. 2 Syracuse and West Babylon's Alyssa Murray in the NCAA Division I women's championship at 8:30 p.m. Sunday at Towson University's Johnny Unitas Stadium in Maryland. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU.
Both former Long Island standouts were named to the All-America team by the intercollegiate women's lacrosse coaches association last week.
"It is kind of funny seeing someone you played against in high school playing against you in these big games," senior attack Murray said Saturday. "She's an awesome player. I think we're used to it now, though."
Maryland, which lost to North Carolina in triple-overtime in last year's championship game, beat Syracuse in a semifinal last year.
"And we lost to them twice this season," said Murray, the active Division I career scoring leader with 358 points. "But we haven't given up and I think we're on the same playing field as them and it should be pretty close. We experienced failure and success, but we haven't experienced success at the highest level. We're hunting for that."
Expect to see a lot of scoring. Murray is seventh in the nation in points per game with 4.61; McPartland, a junior midfielder, is 23rd with 3.91. Maryland (22-1) averages 14.57 goals, good for fourth in the nation; Syracuse averages 14.48, which ranks fifth.
"I think possessions and getting the ball would be crucial and that's something Maryland is good at and something we're going to be looking to do well in," Murray said.
Goalie play could also be critical. Senior Alyssa Costantino, of West Islip has played in 20 games this season and owns an 8.52 goals against average for Syracuse (21-2).
Maryland has six other Long Islanders on its squad: Halle Majorana (Manhasset), Erin Collins (West Islip), Nadine Hadnagy (Farmingdale), Shanna Brady (Smithtown), Annie Lynch (Centerport) and Bairre Reilly (Locust Valley).
Two other Long Islanders are on Syracuse's roster: Loren Ziegler (West Islip) and Paige Savia (Bellmore).