COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Senior attacker Megan Whittle and freshman midfielder Grace Griffin recorded five points each to help the No. 2 Maryland women’s lacrosse team (8-1) top No. 4 James Madison (8-1) 15-12 on Saturday afternoon. The Top 5 match-up was played in front of 2,361 fans, setting a new attendance record for the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex.
The win marked Maryland's fourth victory over a Top 10 opponent this season and second over a Top 5 squad. The Terps have faced ranked foes in six of their nine games this season, posting a 5-1 record.Saturday was also Maryland's annual Diabetes Awareness Game. The Terps wore blue warm-ups, held a silent auction and raised over $8,600 during their annual JDRF campaign.
"I'm proud of our team's effort today," said Maryland Head Coach Cathy Reese. "JMU's a tough opponent and we knew this would be a hard-fought game. It's nice to be back home and the amount of fans that we had out here today was awesome. To break attendance records and have it on a day for us where we're raising money for a charity that's close to our team's hearts makes it a really cool day. And then to come away with a victory obviously tops it all off."
Griffin led the Terps with a career-best four goals, while Whittle and junior attacker Caroline Steele tallied three goals each. Whittle and junior midfielder Jen Giles paced the team with two assists each.
The teams traded goals early and the game was tied 3-3 after 13 minutes. Maryland started taking control of the game from that point, scoring the next four goals. Steele, junior midfielder Meghan Siverson, senior attacker Taylor Hensh and Griffin each scored during a six-minute stretch that gave the Terps a 7-3 lead with 11:36 remaining in the first half.
JMU's Kristen Gaudian, who led the visitors with four goals on the day, scored consecutive goals to halt the Maryland run and get the Dukes within two. However, Giles assisted on a Whittle tally and then scored her 25th goal of the season minutes later to give the Terps a 9-5 lead at the intermission.
Maryland scored three of the first four goals of the second half and took its largest lead of the game, 12-6, on a free position goal by Griffin with 21:02 remaining. JMU's defense tightened up from that point, holding the Terps to just three goals over the final 21 minutes.
With Maryland leading 14-9, the Dukes rattled off three consecutive goals to get within 14-12 with 6:35 remaining. JMU gained possession with less than three minutes remaining, but junior goalie Megan Taylor came up with her 12th and biggest save of the game to get the Terps the ball back. Moments later, Steele sealed the victory by tallying her 26th goal of the season.
Sophomore defender Lizzie Colson led the Terps with four groundballs, while sophomore attacker Kali Hartshorn scored a goal and paced the team with eight draw controls. Giles and Whittle led the way with two caused turnovers each.
Whittle reached the 250 career goal milestone in the win. The senior attacker is just 18 goals shy of breaking Jen Adams' (1998-01) all-time career goals record at Maryland.
The Terps return to action on Wednesday when they host Georgetown at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex. The game is set to get underway at 6 p.m. and can be seen on ESPNU.