March 4, 2011
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - A five-goal effort from Laura Merrifield helped fuel No. 1 Maryland as it dominated No. 5 Virginia, 18-6, on the road in Atlantic Coast Conference action Friday.
Merrifield, who was announced as one of five Maryland (5-0, 2-0 ACC) players on this year's preliminary Tewaaraton watch list earlier in the day, notched a season-high five goals on five shots. She was backed up by stellar offensive performances from fellow Tewaaraton nominees Karri Ellen Johnson and Katie Schwarzmann, who tallied four and three goals, respectively.
After jumping out to a 4-0 lead, sparked by two goals from Merrifield, Virginia (2-2, 0-1 ACC) answered with three scores to make it a 4-3 match. Johnson's goal with 2:07 remaining in the half expanded the Terrapin lead to two heading into halftime and extended the junior's streak to 50 consecutive games with a point.
The Terps benefited from a much cleaner second half, where it only turned the ball over four times, and kicked off the stanza on a 4-0 run. Maryland would go on to outscore the Cavs, 13-3, in the half, with goals coming from six different Terrapins. A sturdy Maryland defense, led by seven saves from Tewaaraton nominee Brittany Dipper, held Virginia to only 21 shots in the ACC battle.
"For us, our second half was really strong and we kind of put our foot down and were able to pull away in the second half," head coach Cathy Reese said. "We limited our turnovers which I think was a problem for us in the first half. We were limiting ourselves in the first half and made some adjustments and came out much better in the second half."
Maryland, winner of 15 straight, returns to action Tuesday with midweek, non-conference tilt with George Mason at 4 p.m. at the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex.