ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Behind a career-high eight goals by senior attacker Megan Whittle and a career-high 15 draw controls by sophomore attacker Kali Hartshorn, the No. 1 seeded Maryland women’s lacrosse team defeated No. 3 seed Penn State to win their third straight Big Ten Tournament Championship, 21-12.
“I loved our energy today throughout the whole game,” said head coach Cathy Reese. “I think offensively we did a really nice job with our spacing in creating openings and we had a lot of really good looks on cage. Defensively, we had our hands full today. Penn State has such good attackers and we did a really good job of communicating and making sure our slides were where they needed to be.
Following her eight-goal effort, Whittle was named the Big Ten Tournament MVP, adding to the already plentiful list of accolades for the senior. Whittle’s eight goals were her career-best and she now stands just one goal behind Gail Cummings for the second-most goals in NCAA history. The senior tallied four goals in the first half and four in the second, leading a Maryland offense that tied a season-high with 21 goals.
Hartshorn, who set a career-best with 15 draws, gave Maryland constant possession in a 24-10 advantage over Penn State. Hartshorn also notched a hat-trick while adding an assist.
Steele, who recorded seven points (five goals, two points) in the semifinal win over Johns Hopkins, pitched in today with two goals and an asissts as well as a career-high two draw controls.
Braig and Colson paced a Maryland defense that contstantly made it tough for the opponent to score. Braig had four draw controls and four groundballs in the tournament. Colson, who drew two charges today, had 12 draw controls in the tournament with a career-best eight on Friday night, as well contributing groundballs and caused turnovers as well.
Junior midfielder Jen Giles tallied five points in the title game, two points and three assists.
A tie game early, Maryland ended the first half on an 8-1 run to take an 11-4 lead at halftime. As well as Whittle’s four, junior midfielder Meghan Siverson had two first half goals.
The offense would keep up in the second-half, as Maryland outscored Penn State 10-8. Whittle, senior attacker Taylor Hensh, Hartshorn, junior midfielder Jen Giles, freshman attacker Catie May and freshman midfielder Grace Griffin did the scoring.
This marks the third straight Big Ten Tournament Championship for Maryland, who has only lost one Big Ten game ever since entering the conference in 2015.
The Terps will find out their NCAA Tournament seed and opponent on Sunday night at 9:30 p.m.