The second ranked Maryland women's lacrosse team made another trip north on I-95 Wednesday night. This trip took them to Philadelphia to take on the twelfth ranked Penn Quakers. When the Terps got on the bus in College Park, they had nine wins and no losses. When they boarded the bus for home they still had no losses but did have their tenth win having throttled the Quakers by a 15-5 final score.
These stories can be difficult to write because of the rapid fire nature of Maryland's offense. Case in point, Taylor Cummings controlled the opening draw and Brooke Griffin scored fourteen seconds into the game. Cummings went two for two on draws and though Penn goalie Lucy Ferguson made her first save on Zoe Stukenberg's shot, Beth Glaros intercepted Penn's attempted clear and with 28:17 to play the Terps were up two nothing.
Following the quick outburst came a stretch of play where I got to do a little writing as the defenses for both teams controlled the next few minutes of play. The Terps' defense was so solid that the Quakers needed nearly eight minutes to get their first shot. I knew this lull couldn't last. Kelly McPartland caused a turnover and she found Beth Glaros in transition for the senior's second goal of the night. The home team finally controlled a draw and got off two shots. The first went wide and Maryland goalie Abby Clipp saved the second. After a successful clear, Cummings picked up her first score of the night on a free position.
With 16:40 to play, Penn finally found a hole in Maryland's defense and narrowed the gap to four to one. Sometimes, it's just not a good idea to score on the Terps. Over the ensuing 2:46 of game time, Maryland went on a rapid fire five goal scoring spree that nearly exceeded my ability to simply note let alone write about.
The scores came from Cummings, McPartland, Stukenberg, McPartland again, and Stukenberg again. Three of the scores, one from McPartland and both of Stukenberg's, came on free position shots. Cummings' goal and McPartland's other score came from the flow of play. I should note that during this run of play, Cummings, who finished the half with six draw controls, got some help from her teammates. Alice Mercer and Erin Collins each picked up one as did McPartland, Morgan Torggler, and Jen Mendez boosting the Terrapins' edge to 12-1 for the half.
Following the Terrapins' scoring barrage, the game again settled into a defensive battle with both sides, perhaps affected by the rainy night, turning the ball over. Though the Quakers scored once more before the half, Abby Clipp had an outstanding half making five saves as Maryland went into the locker room with a 9-2 halftime lead.
The second half - Quieter but still dominant
Though Penn took the draw to open the second half, and controlled the play for the opening five minutes, they were unable to penetrate the Terps' defense. When a Penn defender picked up a yellow card, Maryland was quick to capitalize with Brooke Griffin picking up her second score of the night on an assist from McPartland. However, on the ensuing draw, the Terps returned the favor as Alice Mercer was flagged for a two minute penalty and this time the Quakers took advantage of the man-up and scored to make it 10-3 Terps.
Maryland brushed this aside and Beth Glaros provided the response picking up her hat trick with 21:01 to play. The Terrapins' response continued apace as Casey Pepperman picked up the ball on the draw and forty-four seconds of game time later it was McPartland and Griffin connecting again as they had on the previous goal and the Terrapins' lead of 12-3 moved them closer toward triggering the running clock.
Following Griffin's third goal, the game hit another lull and I was able to catch up on this story. While I was doing that, Penn scored with 13:30 to play and cut Maryland's lead to eight. Fortunately, I was sitting in the comfort of my house following the game on Live Stats and Twitter so the running clock wasn't really a personal concern. Still, Bryn Boucher's goal with 12:43 left, revitalized the possibility. Possibility became reality after Jen Mendez forced a turnover with Mercer picking up the ground ball and Boucher netting her second straight. Fourteen to four Terps.
The running clock only lasted a bit over two minutes, though, as Penn controlled the draw and scored to get back within nine. Boucher got it started again just under a minute later completing the natural hat trick on a free position after Morgan Torggler picked up the draw. When Mattie Meredith controlled the draw after Boucher's goal, the Terps took their foot off the gas content to keep the clock running. Penn managed one last possession but Maryland's defense again held the line and eventually created a turnover with under a minute remaining. The Terps ran out the clock and ran out of the city of brotherly love with a 15-5 win.