Maryland took care of business at Penn State handing the Lions a 14-7 defeat

Maryland's women's lacrosse team faced their first ranked opponent of the 2014 season and and came away with a relatively comfortable 14-7 win but they needed a stellar defensive performance from goalkeeper Abby Clipp and a stellar offensive performance from Brooke Griffin to do it.

Here I go again setting out to write about a game I didn't see. This time it's the Maryland women's lacrosse team's 14-7 win on the road over seventh (or eighth) ranked Penn State Saturday. It's late Saturday night night but as I start to write about this game, I can't help but think that, excepting the travails of the softball team on the west coast, this has been a good weekend to be a Terp fan. Since Thursday, we've seen wins by women's basketball and wrestling. Friday, gymnastics won their meet and Saturday, the baseball team won a double header and both the men's and women's lacrosse teams won.

Though everyone on both squads will talk about a total team effort, both lacrosse victories were driven by two outstanding performances. On the men's side the two standouts were Charlie Raffa - who dominated faceoffs - and goalkeeper Niko Amato who picked up eleven saves with several of those bailing out his defense. The women also received a standout performance from their goaltender, Abby Clipp. The redshirt junior from Ellicott City rang up 21 saves just three short of the Terrapins' single game record held by Denise Westcott who, in 1977, chalked up 24 against Penn State. The second wow came from the crosse of another redshirt junior, Brooke Griffin. Griffin took seven shots and scored seven goals. What's even more impressive is that none of those scores came from free position shots.

The Terps charged out to an early 5-0 lead in the first nine minutes of the game. Griffin got things started just over a minute and a half in when she scored an unassisted goal. Over five minutes elapsed before Erin Collins scored with an assist from Kristin Lamon. Then, as they often do, the Terps went bing! bang! boom! Or perhaps I should say Griffin went bing! bang! boom! since she accounted for goals three through five. The first came a mere 11 seconds after Collins' goal on an assist from Zoe Stukenberg. Maryland needed all of a minute and thirty-nine seconds to go ahead 4-0 when Griffin completed her first hat trick on a feed from Kelly McPartland. Thirty-seven seconds later, Griffin embarked on her second hat trick scoring her fourth goal of the game and putting the Terps ahead 5-0 with Taylor Cummings setting the table for her.

The Nittany Lions finally got on the board scoring two straight but Beth Glaros and, you guessed it, Griffin answered with two consecutive Terrapin scores and Maryland regained their five goal lead. Penn State scored to again close to within four but Lamon answered scoring the last goal of the half with 9:33 to play as the Terps took an 8-3 lead into intermission.

Kelly McPartland got the Terps started 34 seconds into the second half putting Maryland up by six - their largest lead of the contest. However, the home team bounced back quickly with two straight to narrow the gap to four at nine to five (what a way to make a living). Again, Griffin had the answer as she notched two in a row to inch that lead back to six. An unassisted Penn State goal with just over twelve minutes to play made the score 11-7 but that was as close as the Nittany Lions would come.

The Terps scored the game's last three goals with two of them coming from Beth Glaros who rang up her first hat trick of the young season. Glaros' two scores sandwiched Taylor Cummings' only goal of the day as the sophomore scored on a free position shot.

Though the margin was similar, the women's win wasn't as thoroughly dominating as the men's win at Syracuse. Penn State outshot the Terps 36-31, the squads were even on ground balls with ten each, and, though Maryland held the edge in draw controls, it was a slim 12-10 advantage.

I'd like to be able to write in more detail about Abby Clipp's day as one series of second half tweets indicated three seriously spectacular saves in succession but since I have only the Twitter feed to go on and 140 characters allows only limited visualization. I hope she can print this story because a performance like hers today is certainly worthy of a press Clipping.

The Terps continue their extended road trip traveling first to Long Island where they will take on Hofstra at 5:30 pm on Tuesday (February 25) and then take the ride down I-85 to Durham where they will open ACC play on March first taking on the Duke Blue Devils who dropped a 12-11 decision to Northwestern earlier Saturday. The game is scheduled for a one pm first draw.

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