April 26, 2009
BLACKSBURG, Va. - ACC Championship MVP Caitlyn McFadden scored four goals in the second half to lift the Terps to its first title since 2003 as top-seeded Maryland downed Duke, 12-11, to win the 2009 ACC Women's Lacrosse Championship on Sunday at Thompson Field on the campus of Virginia Tech.
Maryland (18-0, 5-0 ACC) jumped out to an early 4-0 lead before Duke turned on the heat and delivered a massive 8-0 run that carried into the second period. With the game tied at 4-4 in the first half, Laura Merrifield nailed what appeared to be a go-ahead goal for the Terps, but the score was waved off courtesy of a yellow card for a dangerous follow-through on Merrifield's shot. Fifth-ranked Duke answered with a goal with 20 seconds remaining to carry a slim one-goal lead into the half.
After a score from Duke's Sarah Bullard to open the second stanza, Merrifield was issued another yellow card which sent the All-ACC midfielder to the bench for the rest of the game. Duke tacked on two more goals for an 8-4 advantage, the largest deficit Maryland has faced this season.
Karri Ellen Johnson started Maryland's monumental momentum shift with a goal off an assist from Amanda Spinnenweber at 21:15 to end the Terps' scoring drought. McFadden made a spin move to the inside to cut the gap to two before Sarah Mollison advanced from behind the cage for a score. McFadden, while falling on the ground, tied the game when her shot went into the back of the net for an 8-8 game.
Caroline Cryer put Duke back on top with an unassisted goal with 11:46 remaining before McFadden scored off an assist from Mollison over the cage and on a free position hit. Brandi Jones cushioned the lead to two with an 8-meter score of her own while Mollison ended the Terrapin scoring with a goal at 2:51.
Duke kept the pressure on in the closing seconds, adding two more goals for a 12-11 score, but McFadden was able to capture the draw with 59 seconds left and allow Maryland to hold possession long enough to deny Duke another scoring opportunity.
"This was just a great game," head coach Cathy Reese, who met up with the contents of the water cooler for the first time in her career, said. "It was back and forth the entire game...we made some amazing defensive stops against some of the best players in the country and I couldn't be more proud of this team."
Maryland has now won six ACC championships as a program and is 11-8 all-time against the Blue Devils.
McFadden ended the day with four goals, four draw controls and two groundballs. Mollison and Johnson each added two goals and an assist. Freshman goalie Brittany Dipper ended her tournament with another double-digit save performance, tallying ten against Duke on Sunday.
No. 2 Maryland will face Princeton on Senior Day in College Park at noon next Saturday.