ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Junior attacker Caroline Steele tied a career-high with seven points, on five first half goals and two assists to lead the No. 1 seeded Maryland women’s lacrosse team to a 16-11 win over the No. 4 seeded Johns Hopkins Blue Jays in the Big Ten Tournament Semifinals on Friday night.
“It was a good win”, said head coach Cathy Reese. “Hopkins is a tough team and another conference opponent so obviously it’s nice to come away with this win and have the opportunity to compete for another Big Ten Championship on Sunday.”
Steele had a hat-trick just five minutes into the game, scoring Maryland’s first three goals after the Terps went down 1-0 early. She would add two later first half tallies and two second half assists to match a career-best seven points, marking the fifth-time Steele notched seven and the third time this season.
Freshman midfielder Grace Griffin also tied a career-best with four goals, while junior midfielder Meghan Siverson had three goals and sophomore attacker Brindi Griffin had one goal and two assists to pace the offense.
Junior goalkeeper Megan Taylor recorded 11 saves, including holding Hopkins scoreless for a 20-minute span in the first half as the Terps would go on an 8-1 run.
Sophomore defender Lizzie Colson notched a career-high eight draw controls to lead Maryland in the circle. The Terps out-drew Hopkins 19-9, with the trio of Colson, Siverson and sophomore attacker Kali Hartshorn combining for 17 of those.
Maryland controlled the game throughout, leading 8-1 after 18 minutes of play off four goals from Steele, two free position hits from Siverson and a goal from both Brindi and Grace Griffin. After G. Griffin scored through traffic with 17 seconds to go in the first half, the Terps took an 11-4 lead into halftime.
After Maryland went up 16-6 to inflict a running clock, Hopkins ended the game on a 5-0 run to make the final score 16-11. In the second half, senior attacker Taylor Hensh and G. Griffin each scored two goals, while Siverson scored the fifth.
Junior defender Julia Braig had two groundballs and two caused turnovers to help lead a defensive effort that gave Maryland a 13-shot advantage in the game. Seven different Terps caused a Hopkins turnover, with Braig leading as the only one with two.
With the win, Maryland advances to its third straight Big Ten Tournament Championship, against either No. 2 Northwestern or No. 3 Penn State. The Terps have won each time they’ve been in the title game since entering the conference. Opening draw in Ann Arbor with occur at noon on Sunday. The game will air live on the Big Ten Network.