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Maryland women’s lacrosse sneaks by No. 5 Penn State, 16-14

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The Terps remain undefeated and clinch a share of the Big Ten title.

NCAA Lacrosse: Women's Semifinal - Syracuse Orange vs. Maryland Terrapins Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

In what was its toughest game yet, Maryland women’s lacrosse managed to stay undefeated with a 16-14 victory over Penn State. Maryland now improves to 16-0 on the season, and at 5-0 it is the only Big Ten team still undefeated in conference play. With the win, the Terps earn a share of the Big Ten title, and are the likely No. 1 seed in the conference tournament.

Kali Hartshorn continued her hot streak, scoring a first-half hat trick that included two goals in the first seven minutes. She finished the game with five goals, and has now scored 20 in her last four games.

Zoe Stukenberg had a great all-around game as well. She had two goals, four assists, four draw controls and three caused turnovers on the night. Caroline Steele added a hat trick in the game, reaching 31 goals for the season. Taylor Hensh, Jen Giles and Megan Whittle each scored twice, and Caroline Wannen also scored once.

Megan Taylor surrendered 14 goals on 21 shots, including eight goals on nine shots in the second half. However, she made some big saves at big moments to halt Penn State momentum.

Maryland was uncharacteristically undisciplined. In the first half, Alex McKay and Morgan Torggler received yellow cards within 30 seconds of each other, immediately followed by two Penn State goals. In the second, Torggler got another one, leading to another Penn State goal. The Terps came into the game with 11 yellow cards on the year, but had four total on Thursday.

While Maryland’s defense is normally good at stopping the opponent’s best players, it struggled to do so against the Nittany Lions. Katie O’Donnell, Madison Carter and Steph Lozo combined to score 13 of Penn State’s 14 goals.

The first half was played evenly between the two, as both teams scored six goals. However, after Maryland took a 5-3 lead, Penn State went on a 3-1 run in the final 10 minutes thanks to the Terps yellow cards. The game was tied 6-6 at halftime.

Maryland controlled the game more in the second, outscoring Penn State 10-8 and going on a 4-1 run late, increasing the lead to four with four minutes left. Penn State scored two goals in the last two minutes, but the lead was too big to overcome.

In its regular season finale on April 27, Maryland visits No. 17 Northwestern, who is 3-1 in Big Ten play this year.

Three Things to Know

  1. Maryland got a huge draw control when necessary. Coming into the game, draw controls were a huge key, and Maryland barely won them 17-15. However, with 90 seconds left and the Terps up two, Megan Whittle controlled a draw that allowed Maryland to run out the clock.
  2. Maryland improved as the game went on. While the Terps had their stretches of struggles, they slowly got stronger as time wound down. They outshot the Nittany Lions 26-9 in the second half and outdrew them 12-7.
  3. Time for some much-needed rest. For the first time in 10 games, Maryland has a full week of rest before playing its next game. Coming off a tough matchup against a potential Final Four team, the Terps have earned this rest.