COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Grace Griffin tied a career-high with five points, while Megan Whittle scored five goals to lead the No. 3 Maryland women’s lacrosse team (15-1, 5-0 B1G) to a 13-8 win over Penn State (9-6, 3-2 B1G) on Thursday night.
“It was a good game tonight,” said head coach Cathy Reese. “I thought defensively we played great. We had a little lapse there in the second half where we gave up way too many goals in a two-minute period. But it was a great game. Penn State’s a tough team. They’re tough to defend. I thought our defense played outstanding tonight, they defended their offensive players really well. Pleased with our performance."
After a defensive battle in the first half where both teams had trouble finding the back of the net, Maryland found its rhythm to start the second half, scoring six of the first seven goals to take a commanding 11-4 lead.
Whittle and G. Griffin led the charge offensively with Whittle doing the scoring and G. Griffin the passing. The senior had five goals, four in the second half, to move to third all-time in NCAA history with 275 goals. G. Griffin had a career-best three assists, while adding two first half goals.
Junior goalkeeper Megan Taylor fared well in the cage, posting eight saves to eight goals allowed, a .500 save percentage. This marks the eighth time in the last 10 games that Taylor and the Maryland defense have allowed 10 goals or less.
The Terps won the draw control battle 14-9 with Hartshorn and sophomore defender Lizzie Colson leading the way with six each.
Maryland started the game fast, with sophomore midfielder Kali Hartshorn and G. Griffin both scoring goals a minute apart in the early going, with Giles assisting both. Penn State responded with two straight before G. Griffin and Steele scored a minute apart about 10 minutes later. After Penn State cut the lead in half to 4-3, both teams went into a little offensive lull. Whittle scored unassisted right before halftime to give the Terps a 5-3 lead at the break.
In the second half, Maryland scored the first four goals, three by Whittle and one by B. Griffin to go up 9-3. Penn State got one back before freshman attacker Catie May put home her first career goal on G. Griffin’s second assist. Steele added another to make it 11-4. In just two minutes, the Nittany Lions scored four goals to briefly make it a three-score game at 11-8. Whittle and senior attacker Taylor Hensh scored in the last four minutes to ice the game at 13-8.
The Terps are now 9-1 against ranked teams this season.
Undefeated in Big Ten play at 5-0, Maryland will play its final game of the regular season a week from tonight, on April 26 against Northwestern at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex.