Maryland women's lacrosse used an overpowering first half to dominate Rutgers and advance to the Big Ten Tournament final. The top-ranked and top-seeded Terps (18-0) will take on the winner of the Penn State/Northwestern game on Sunday.
The game did not start in the way that Maryland had hoped. Rutgers took an early 1-0 lead just 1:17 into the game.
However, just a few minutes later, Caroline Wannen, Kacie Longo and Zoe Stukenberg all scored goals in the span of 1:07. The Terps tacked on three more to take a 6-1 lead. When Rutgers responded with a goal to make it 6-2, Maryland roared back with four straight goals, including three in a span of 52 seconds.
After Kim Kolodny's goal trimmed the deficit to seven, the Terrapins answered with a goal just 11 seconds later. They torched Rutgers for six more goals over the final 8:36 of the half.
Maryland put its backups in for the second half, and the backups played like, well, backups. The Terps did not play well at all in the second half. They were outscored 6-2, outshot 9-5 and outdrawn 5-4.
The first 30 minutes of this game was all that Maryland would need to secure the victory. Eight different players scored in Maryland's first meeting with Rutgers this season. Nine players found the back of the net for Maryland tonight. Stukenberg, Megan Whittle, Taylor Cummings and Taylor Hensh all had hat tricks. Cummings and Wannen both paced the offense with five-point nights.
Three things to know
1) Maryland still has yet to allow 10 goals in a game this season
Rutgers put up six goals in the second half, finishing with nine for the game. That ties the season-high that the Terps have allowed. The only other teams to put up nine goals on the Terps this season were Syracuse, Cornell and Penn State.
2) Maryland utterly dominated the first half
After Rutgers struck first, Maryland answered with a 10-1 run. The Terps were up 17-2 at halftime and had a whopping 16 draw controls in the game's first 30 minutes.
3) There is a big drop-off between the first and second stringers
Rutgers scored three straight to open up the second half against Maryland's second-string defense. Emily Kift struggled in goal. The offense couldn't get much of anything going in the second half, scoring only two goals. The backups were ineffective. The Terps didn't move the ball around nearly enough in the second half, didn't get high-percentage looks and only took five shots.