In a new series here at Lax All Stars, our goal is to try and settle the debate as to who is the best of the best. This has been debated for years and will always be a topic of conversation. In this series we will showcase individuals and highlight the sport’s greatest dynasties. This can be at the high school, collegiate, or professional level in either the men’s or women’s game. No era is off limits. Welcome to the Legends of Lacrosse.
The sport has seen many dynasties throughout its history which made it very difficult to pick the first installment. After doing research and the influence this program has on the rest of the game it made complete sense. The Maryland women’s lacrosse program has established itself as one of the most dominant and successful dynasties in the sport. Their success on the field has carried over into every facet of the women’s game. Their reach has made them true legends of the sport.
Legends of Lacrosse
The Maryland women’s lacrosse program was founded in 1974, and it didn’t take long for the team to achieve success. In the early years, under the guidance of coaches Sue Tyler and Cindy Timchal, Maryland made its mark with several strong seasons and appearances in the NCAA tournament. This period culminated with a National Championship in 1986.
The dynasty truly began to take shape in the 1990s. Cindy Timchal, who became the head coach in 1991, led the Terrapins to unparalleled success. Timchal’s coaching expertise, combined with the talent of her players, propelled Maryland to new heights.
From 1995 to 2001, Maryland won seven consecutive NCAA Division I national championships, a feat unmatched in the sport’s history. This remarkable streak of success showcased the program’s dominance. It also cemented its status as one of the greatest dynasties in women’s lacrosse.
Even after the historic seven-title run, Maryland remained a perennial contender for the national championship. Under new coach Cathy Reese’s leadership, the Terrapins won five more NCAA national championships in 2010, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2019 bringing their total to 14.
Timchal’s Coaching Legacy
Cindy Timchal played a pivotal role in building and sustaining the Maryland lacrosse dynasty. Her coaching style emphasized strong fundamentals, disciplined play, and a focus on team unity. Timchal’s ability to recruit and develop talented players ensured that the Terrapins remained a force to be reckoned with year after year.
Her players and assistants have gone on to successful coaching careers as well. Cathy Reese at Maryland and Jen Adams at Loyola are two at the DI level. Gary Gait was also an assistant during that incredible 7 title run. Kelly Amonte Hiller has built her own dynasty at Northwestern that rivals UMD and includes the most recent National Championship.
Because of this, Maryland has consistently attracted some of the best lacrosse players in the country. Many Terrapins have gone on to achieve individual success, earning All-American honors and winning prestigious awards such as the Tewaaraton Award, which recognizes the top female lacrosse player in the nation. This list includes some the games greatest in Jen Adams and Taylor Cummings.
Legends of Lacrosse
The Maryland lacrosse dynasty has had a significant impact on the sport, helping to raise its profile and increase its popularity. The program’s success has inspired aspiring lacrosse players across the country and has played a vital role in the growth and development of women’s lacrosse.
With 14 NCAA National Titles, 8 Runner Up Seasons, and 28 Final Four Appearances, it’s safe to say that the Terps Women’s Lacrosse program has achieved legendary status in the game. More importantly, their influence has helped the game grow by leaps and bounds, which has transformed the women’s game into what you see today.