PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Taking advantage of a strong start that saw the Terps lead 5-0 midway through the first half, the No. 2 Maryland women’s lacrosse team defeated No. 8 Penn 13-7 at Frankin Field on Thursday afternoon.
"Very good road win today over a challenging opponent," said head coach Cathy Reese. "We did a great job of limiting their chances and Megan Taylor did her job in the cage. Really happy with the progress of our defense over the past few games. Excited to get back home for another tough opponent on Saturday."
The Terps offense was led all day by the trio of senior attacker Megan Whittle and junior attacker’s Jen Giles and Caroline Steele. Maryland’s three season-leading goal scorers got the Terps started on the right foot, combining for five goals in the first 15 minutes of the contest to give their team a 5-0 lead. Giles recorded the first tally about two minutes in before Whittle and Steele followed in the next six minutes. Whittle and Giles added unassisted goals a few minutes later to help fuel the Terps hot start.
Goalie Megan Taylor was strong in goal all afternoon, posting her highest save percentage of the season at .650. Taylor tied a season-high with 13 saves, seven in the first half and six in the second. The junior also totaled a season-best three groundballs.
Maryland dominated in draw controls, holding a 16-6 advantage. After Penn notched the first two of the day, the Terps, led by five from Kali Hartshorn, won 16 of the game’s final 20.
Whittle led the Terps with five points (four goals, one assist) while Giles was right behind her with four (three goals, one assist). Steele also had a hat-trick, her third game in a row with one, while Hartshorn, sophomore attacker Brindi Griffin and junior midfielder Meghan Siverson added one goal.
After Maryland’s 5-0 start, the Quakers would make it close, scoring four of the next five goals to cut the Terps lead to 6-4. Griffin and Giles each put a shot home in the last two minutes of the half to give Maryland an 8-4 midway advantage.
Maryland started the second half the same way it did the first, scoring the first four goals to go up 12-4 off two goals from Whittle and one from Siverson and Giles. The Terps would hold on to win 13-7.
Thursday’s win marked Maryland’s third top-ten road win of the season, also previously beating then-#3 Florida and #8 Syracuse. Over the past four seasons, Maryland is 23-2 against top-ten opponents.
It will be a short turnaround for the Terps, as No. 2 Maryland returns home on Saturday to take on its second-straight top-ten opponent, No. 4 James Madison at the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex at noon.