Feb. 28, 2009
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - After falling to Duke in two of its mere three losses last season, the No. 5 Maryland women's lacrosse team got a little redemption Saturday, downing the second-ranked Blue Devils, 15-13, in ACC action at the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex.
Maryland (3-0, 1-0 ACC) immediately benefited from regaining the services of sophomore Laura Merrifield, who has been sidelined with an injury the first two contests of the 2009 season. The attacker scored one of her career-high five goals to tie the game at 1-1 after Caroline Cryer put Duke on the board with 30 seconds elapsed in the game.
Duke was able to put up two more scores before Maryland went on one of its two four-goal runs courtesy of scores from Karri Ellen Johnson, Brittany Jones, and a pair from Amanda Spinnenweber. Duke responded with goals from Sarah Bullard and Cryer to put the score even at 5-5 before Merrifield picked up her second score off an assist from behind the goal from Sarah Mollison to allow the Terps to momentarily regain the lead.
Duke (4-1, 0-1 ACC) answered with its biggest scoring run of the game with two goals from Cryer and another from Davis to give the Blue Devils an 8-6 lead with 1:30 left in the half. The Terps were able to spark its offense heading into the locker room with another goal from Mollison to Merrifield and a final score with 19 seconds remaining as Brandi Jones won the draw control and marched all the way down the field for the goal, tying the game at 8-8.
As it did in the first half, Duke got on the board first in the second half as Megan Del Monte scored ten seconds into play, but Merrifield quickly answered with a solid score up the middle 30 seconds later. Cryer added one more goal to her Duke-leading five before the Terps went on arguably their most critical series of this season's edition of the heated Duke/Maryland rivalry.
Caitlyn McFadden found Jones with approximately 22 minutes remaining to knot the score at ten. Two crucial yellow cards were issued a minute apart to Duke's Sara Giedgowd and Bullard to give the Terps a two-man up edge and Maryland capitalized. McFadden and Merrifield both hit on free position shots before Spinnenweber added a goal to push the lead to three.
Duke's Kat Thomas put the score at 13-11 with a goal before Johnson added to her Maryland season-best total with a pair of scores all the while aiding the Terps in earning a majority of the draw controls in the game's closing minutes. Duke was able to put up two more scores as the Terps reverted to prevent defense, but Maryland was able to hold on to complete the upset bid.
"I thought our defense played really well, especially in the second half," head coach Cathy Reese said. "I thought we presented a really balanced offensive attack and that we were able to create a lot of scoring opportunities.
"The Duke/Maryland rivalry is just fantastic. Duke is so strong top to bottom...everyone is a threat. I thought we played really good team defense to combat that."
Merrifield led the Terps with five goals while McFadden added three assists and a goal for four points. Spinnenweber had a career-high three goals and an assist. Johnson paced Maryland with four draw controls in addition to scoring three goals. Karissa Taylor and Katie Gallagher led the defense with three groundballs and three caused turnovers, respectively.
The Terps will take on its next big test of the early season with a match at 2008 ACC Champion Virginia on Friday. The game is slated for 7 p.m.
Post Game Notes
The Terps, now in their third season under the guidance of Reese, have won all four games in which they have played an opponent ranked No. 1 or No. 2 at home in the past three seasons.
The Terps are 159-15 in College Park dating back to 1990 with 10 perfect seasons in that span.
Maryland is 19-1 at home under the tutelage of Reese.
Saturday's win broke a two-game winning streak for Duke in the rivalry.
Maryland now leads the all-time series, 10-8.