CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Brooke Griffin tied a tournament record with seven goals as top-seeded Maryland defeated Virginia 15-9 in the semifinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Lacrosse Championship Friday at Alumni Stadium.
Griffin’s seven goals tied the tournament record first set by Maryland legend Jen Adams against North Carolina in the 1999 semifinals and later by Virginia’s Tyler Leachman versus UNC in the 2006 semifinal round. Her nine overall points fell one shy of another ACC Championship mark. Kelly McPartland was also outstanding for Maryland (18-1), recording five points on four goals and an assist.
Griffin notched her first of five goals in the opening 15 minutes with the game’s opening tally at 29:06. The redshirt junior Tewaaraton nominee then reeled off the next two goals for a hat trick in the first 2:33 of the game for a 3-0 Maryland lead. McPartland got in on the scoring with a pair of unassisted goals at 25:28 and 21:29 for a five-goal advantage before Majorana extended the lead to six with a score at 19:11.
Following Griffin’s fourth tally of the day off an assist from Majorana, Virginia finally found itself on the scoreboard with a Liza Blue goal at 15:10. Griffin pushed the Terrapin advantage back to seven with yet another goal at 14:59 before Virginia picked up a Kelly Boyd score at 13:43 for an 8-2 halftime score.
The Terrapin defense was outstanding in the first period, limiting the Cavaliers to only nine looks on goal through 30 minutes. Abbey Clipp, who finished with nine stops on the day, made three saves in the cage to lead Maryland in the stanza.
Virginia opened up the second half with a Daniela Eppler goal at 28:03 but that score was quickly negated with back-to-back tallies from Griffin and McPartland for a 10-3 contest with 22:51 remaining.
The Cavs shrunk the lead back to six with a Boyd score at 20:15 before the Terps put another two goal run together, featuring scores from Griffin and Kristen Lamon for a 12-4 Maryland lead with about 15 minutes to play.
After consecutive goals by Blue, Maryland rallied for its final scoring drive of the game, amassing three straight from Cummings, McPartland and Bryn Boucher, to net a nine-goal lead with three minutes to play before Virginia notched the final three goals of the match for a 15-9 final.
Defensively, Maryland registered one of its strongest showings of the year and topped UVA in ground balls 17-15 and draw controls 16-10.
“I am really proud of the way we played today,” head coach Cathy Reese said. “Our team played very well defensively, we worked together, we came up with some great stops and offensively I thought we were very selfless. We were working for each other to find openings and we shot well against a really good goalie so all-in-all it was a good day for us and gives us some good groundwork moving forward.”
Maryland will face the winner of the Syracuse/North Carolina semifinal in Sunday’s ACC title game at 1 p.m. at Alumni Stadium. The Terps are seeking a sixth-straight conference championship before they head to the Big Ten in July.