Defense Key in 8-5 ACC Semifinal Win

April 22, 2011

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CARY, N.C. - A ferocious defensive effort by top-seeded Maryland helped thwart a stall attempt by Boston College in an 8-5 victory over the Eagles in the semifinals of the ACC Women's Lacrosse Championship Friday.

Maryland (16-0) was forced into a low-scoring affair as BC (11-6) controlled possession for nearly 45 minutes of the match. Senior Sarah Mollison led all scorers with three goals, all of which came in the Terps' six-goal first half. Fellow classmate and captain Laura Merrifield added two goals and a key interception late in the second stanza to secure Maryland's 26th consecutive win.

Despite winning the possession battle in the first period, the 11th-ranked Eagles only registered four shots. The Terps managed to convert nearly half of their chances through the first 30 minutes, sinking six of the 13 shots they attempted. Maryland also managed to rack up a large advantage in draw controls, tallying four more than BC in the stanza.

Taking a 6-1 lead into the second half, the Terps struck first in the period when a goal from Brandi Jones at 27:58 gave the nation's top defense a six-goal cushion to work with. BC rattled off four consecutive goals but a solid defensive showing, led by three saves from Brittany Dipper in the final five minutes, sealed the Terrapin win and moved the squad into the ACC title game where they will face the winner of the North Carolina/Duke semifinal.

"It was a good victory for our program tonight," head coach Cathy Reese, who is seeking her third straight ACC crown, said. "I thought Boston College came out and they played hard and really tried to control the tempo of the game and held possession a lot but I thought our defense came up with some huge stops. We played well. We could have executed better on offense but overall it was a good evening."

Sunday's championship game will be shown live on Fox Sports. First draw is slated for 1 p.m.