Forgive Megan Douty for sporting a surprised, dazed look. The former Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School standout helped the University of Maryland women’s lacrosse team win its second straight NCAA Division I Tournament title. Douty and her top-seeded Terrapins captured their latest rings with a 9-8 win over No. 2 University of North Carolina in the championship game in front of 8,143 fans at PPL Park in Philadelphia.
“After we won,” the defender said, “I kept saying, ‘Is this even real?’ I was so happy and shocked. It was like I was in a dream. I was on Cloud Nine. I could not believe it happened and that we pulled it off in the end (the Terrapins trailed 6-3 at halftime).
“We were definitely nervous in the first half. We have a lot of seniors and a lot of leadership. We put the first half behind us and said, ‘Let’s play like the Maryland team that we know. Thank God we did that.”
“We reached the goal we set at the start of the season and it was just incredible. This was the best way for me to end my four years. This is a great memory and I will always have it. I will have these friends forever.”
Douty, who started every game in her career for Maryland, capped her collegiate days with two grounders, one draw control and one caused turnover. The Terrapins’ captain, she was named to the all-tournament team, keying a unit that allowed 29 goals in four games.
The victory was sweet revenge for the Terrapins, triple over time losers to the Tar Heels in the championship game during Douty’s sophomore season.
“Winning the title was a great way to end my senior year,” Douty said. “We got a little bit of revenge.”
The Terrapins fielded the fifth-ranked scoring defense in Division I, allowing 7.27 goals per game.
“Being a leader on the defensive end of the field, I have to guide the girls who are behind me. I worked hard at it. I am definitely proud of what I do and what our team does.
“We expect everyone to score on us, but it comes down to whether or not we have a mental lapse within the defense or whether our opponent made a great shot. It’s never a great feeling to be scored on, but it all depends on how it happened and on whether we can overcome it.”
Maryland has won 13 national titles and Douty helped the Terrapins keep their winning tradition alive, placing second on the team in ground balls (30) and caused turnovers (23) while adding seven draw controls and three assists.
“I have a lot of speed,” she said. “I am pretty quick. I am good at making a quick clear from the defensive end of the field to the offensive end.”
A Fair Haven resident, Douty graduated on time as a kinesiology major. An aspiring physical therapist, she hopes to land a berth on the U.S. National Team as a defender for the second straight season.
“It’s the best of the best,” she said. “It sounds weird to say this, but the competition to make the team is harder than it is in college.”
In the more distant future is a possible roster spot on the U.S. National Team in the 2017 World Cup in England.
“I would love to be able to play on that team,” Douty said. “There are only 18 players on it. On the National team, there are 38. I just hope being a great team player and a great communicator will help me make these teams.”
Douty first stepped on the field as a fourth grader at the recreation level and took an instant liking to the sport. “I loved it right away,” she
said. “I noticed the sport is very fast paced and I loved that. I have always been very, very fast. I picked it up right away and it was fun. I was able to learn it from the beginning with a bunch of friends. I created a lot of friendships from the beginning.”
As a Bulldog, she scored more than 100 career goals and hustled to more than 200 takeaways while starting ever y game and winning Under Armour All-America honors.
“Lacrosse has kept me in shape,” the 5-foot-6 speedster said. “I have always been very competitive. Without it, I don’t know what I would be doing. My friendships star t with my lacrosse teams. I have that good balance of competition, family and friends in the same boat.”
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