“It’s a great day to be a Terp,” head coach Cathy Reese said. “We were a little hesitant in the first half and weren’t as clean as we needed to be. Northwestern came out ready to battle and play hard. I think we were able to settle in the second half and really play well on both sides of the ball.”
Junior attacker Caroline Wannen led the Terps with three goals and one assist. Sophomore attacker Megan Whittle posted two goals and one assist while senior midfielders Taylor Cummings and Bryn Boucher each scored twice.
Maryland and Northwestern played evenly in the first half. After the Wildcats scored first, the Terps jumped out to a 4-1 advantage, led by two goals from Wannen. Northwestern attacked back, scoring four straight to take a 5-4 lead.
Boucher ran from the bench, dodged to the crease and scored to tie the game at 6:52. After another Wildcat goal, Wannen finished a first-half hat trick with 1:27 left, and the teams went into halftime tied, 6-6.
The Terps locked down in the second half, allowing just three Northwestern goals and only one in the first 18 minutes. Boucher scored on a free-position shot to give Maryland a 7-6 lead. Northwestern tied for the final time in the game before the Terps went on a 5-0 run.
Whittle scored twice in the second half while freshman Caroline Steele Steele posted one goal on a free-position shot. Junior defender Nadine Hadnagy tallied her first career goal, taking the ball from the defensive end up the field and scoring in front of the crease.
With 1”32 left in the game, Northwestern got off two quick goals, but Maryland was able to hold on for the 12-9 win.
Freshman goalie Megan Taylor made seven saves and picked up two ground balls. Senior defender Alice Mercer caused three turnovers against the Wildcats.
Wannen, Taylor, Cummings and Mercer were named to the all-tournament team. Cummings was named the Big Ten Tournament MVP.
This is Maryland’s 12th conference tournament title in program history.
The Terps earned the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and will host the winner of Virginia and Johns Hopkins on Sunday.
– Maryland –