Top-ranked and two-time defending national champion Maryland women's lacrosse picked up another signature win on Saturday afternoon, defeating No. 3 Syracuse, 14-9.
The Terrapins got off to good start on the road, taking a 3-0 lead in the game's first six minutes. The Orange closed the gap to one, but Megan Taylor's performance in goal prevented Syracuse from tying the game. The final three minutes of the first half were chaotic and incredibly fun to watch.
Former Terp Halle Majorana scored at the 2:43 mark to bring Syracuse within one. Riley Donahue struck again just 11 seconds later to tie the game. With just under a minute to play in the first half, Kayla Treanor, Syracuse's record-breaking goal scorer and two-time Tewaaraton Award finalist, scored her first goal of the game to give the Orange a 5-4 lead. The Terrapins answered with two goals in the final minute as Taylor Hensh tied the game with 32.3 seconds left and Jen Giles gave Maryland the lead back with 14.1 seconds left in the half. Despite trailing 8-4 in draw controls, the Terps still led, 6-5, at the half.
There were two decisive stretches in the second half. After Caroline Steele's free position goal with 16:36 left to play gave Maryland back the lead, the Terps gave themselves some breathing room. Jen Giles scored her second goal of the game less than a minute later and Zoe Stukenberg capped the run with a goal at the 13:22 mark. A 7-7 tie had become a 10-7 lead. The second run came when Taylor Cummings put together a hat trick in just 2:30. She scored her first goal of the game with 6:38 left to play and just two and a half minutes later, Maryland had an overwhelming 14-8 lead.
Maryland lost the draw control battle, 14-11, but the Orange turned the ball over 18 times and allowed the Terps to take a staggering 11 free position shots. The Terps were able to capitalize on Syracuse's myriad mistakes and win the game.
Three things to know
1. A week after Kacie Longo's breakout game against Hofstra, Taylor Hensh put on a show
After seeing some time off of the bench as a freshman, Hensh has taken a step forward this season. She scored four goals and added an assist on the road against a physical Syracuse defense and tough goalkeeper in Allie Murray. Part of the reason for Hensh's success today was that Syracuse's high-pressure defense opened up opportunities for her. However, the other large reason for her success today was that she has improved, grown and matured as a player in her second season at Maryland.
2. Megan Taylor has it all
Megan Taylor is already one of the best goalkeepers in the country as a freshman. She has the singular focus and short memory that are trademarks of great goalies. She is confident and acts and plays like she belongs on the field playing with and against some of the best players in the country. Megan Taylor was outstanding today in goal for the Terps.
3. Next week's showdown at Florida is a must-watch game
The Gators have beaten five top-15 teams this season, including top five UNC and Syracuse on the road. Maryland has also beaten the Orange and Tar Heels on the road. This game will be a true No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup. The winner will claim the No. 1 ranking and pole position as the favorite to win the NCAA Championship.