COLLEGE PARK, Md. – With a one goal lead and 20 minutes left to play, the No. 2 Maryland women’s lacrosse team (11-1) scored the final six goals of the game to top No. 6 Virginia (8-4), 15-8.
“Great game tonight against a tough opponent,” said head coach Cathy Reese. “We were able to make some in game adjustments, especially in the second half when they had three goals in the beginning and we weren’t able to put away any. Towards the end of the second half our defense did a really nice job of doing what we were asking and we were able to hold them scoreless for these last 15 minutes, which was huge.”
With the Terps holding a 9-5 halftime advantage, Virginia scored four goals in the first ten minutes of the second half to cut the Terrapin lead to one, 9-8. From there, it was all Maryland, as the Terps notched the last six scores, three by sophomore midfielder Kali Hartshorn, two by senior attacker Megan Whittle and one by senior attacker Taylor Hensh. Junior goalie Megan Taylor saved four shots in that span to keep the Cavaliers off the board for the final 20:04.
The duo that was vital to that stretch, Whittle and Hartshorn, paced the Maryland offense all night long, as Whittle led the Terps in scoring with five goals while Hartshorn was right behind her with four, while also tallying an assist. Junior midfielder Jen Giles filled up the stat-sheet, scoring two goals, assisting on another two, and securing career-highs in groundballs (four) and caused turnovers (two).
With five goals tonight, Whittle needs just six more goals to pass Maryland great Jen Adams for the all-time Terrapin goal lead at 267.
This is the fifth time in the last six games that Maryland has held their opponent under 10 goals. Taylor totaled eight saves in the contest, a .500 save percentage.
Defense was key to the first half, as both offenses were having trouble keeping the ball. Early on, each time Maryland scored Virginia had an answer as the Hoos responded right after Whittle goals at 28:53 and 14:03. A tally by sophomore attacker Brindi Griffin started a 3-0 Maryland spurt, followed by goals by Giles and freshman midfielder Grace Griffin. Virginia only scored twice in midst of a 7-2 Terrapin run to end the first half. B. Griffin got her 13th goal of the season to sandwich two Cavalier scores, before Hartshorn, Giles and Whittle put Maryland up 9-5 at halftime.
The Terps then used the 6-0 run to end the game in the second half to secure a 15-8 top-ten win.
Maryland is now 5-1 this season against top-ten foes. Over the past four seasons, the Terps hold an incredible 25-2 record against teams in the top ten of the major polls.
Maryland will host its first Big Ten game of the season on Friday, April 6 at 5:00 p.m., as the Terps welcome Rutgers to College Park. It is Senior Day, as the Terps will honor the contributions of its eight seniors prior to the game.