COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Behind a solid defensive effort that allowed their opponent to a season-low four goals, the No. 1-seeded Maryland women’s lacrosse team (19-1) defeated Denver (13-7), 15-4, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.
"First, let's start off and congratulate Denver on their season," said head coach Cathy Reese. "I'm proud of our team's effort. I think we had a lot of challenges, especially in the first half. Just taking a deep breath and settling in on offense and figuring out where our openings were in the second half. We made some changes and talked about some things at halftime and came out and did that. Our defense played fantastic. Megan Taylor was fantastic in the cage. I think that was the first time all year we've held a team to under five goals and that's one of our goals as a team and something we're really proud of."
The four goals allowed is the lowest total Maryland has allowed in a game since the 2017 season opener against William and Mary, defeating the Tribe 13-3. Allowing two goals in the first half and two in the second, the Terps only allowed 23 shots.
Junior goalkeeper Megan Taylor was strong in the cage, posting 11 saves, a .733 save percentage. The Terps caused numerous shot clock violations and were aided by 17 Denver turnovers.
Offensively, senior attacker Megan Whittle led the way, notching her second-straight eight point game on six goals and two assists. With her first and second goals, Whittle tied and passed Gail Cummings (Temple, 1985-88) to move to second all-time in NCAA History with now 294 goals.
Whittle’s 82 goals this season are the most the senior has scored in a single season as a Terp, surpassing the 76 she scored as a sophomore and the second-most of any Terrapin in a season ever. With six more goals, Whittle will tie Jen Adams for the most goals ever scored in a season by a Maryland women’s lacrosse player.
Juniors Caroline Steele, Jen Giles and Meghan Siverson contributed offensively with the other nine goals. Steele had four, Giles scored three and Siverson posted two. Sophomore attacker Brindi Griffin assisted on one of Steele’s goals, while Whittle picked up her 13th and 14th assists of the season on goals by Giles and Steele.
After getting out to a 4-0 lead in the first 10 minutes of the game, Maryland was held scoreless for the rest of the second half, leading to a 4-2 halftime lead. In the second half, the Terps and Pioneers traded goals over the first 10 minutes to extend the score to 6-4. From there, Maryland ended the game on a 9-0 run, getting three goals from Giles and Steele, two from Whittle and one from Siverson. The Terps outsored the Pioneers 11-2 in the second half.
The Terps scored seven of their 15 goals on free position today with Steele, Whittle and Siverson knocking in two and Giles one.
Sophomore defender Lizzie Colson was all over the field, recording four draw controls, three groundballs and one caused turnover to help pace the superb Maryland defense.
Maryland has now won at least one NCAA Tournament game in 12 straight seasons.
The top-seeded Terps will host in-state foe Navy (18-3) in the NCAA Quarterfinals next Saturday in College Park, with a trip to the final four on the line.