With a decisive victory over No. 15 Northwestern, Maryland women’s lacrosse finishes the regular season with a perfect 17-0 record. The Terps dominated the Wildcats for most of the game, leaving no doubt that they are the best team in the Big Ten.
It was a slow start for Maryland, only scoring one goal in the first 15 minutes of the game. However, the team picked up the play 15 minutes in. Caroline Steele heated up to lead the Terps, scoring three straight to go up two by the 10-minute mark and finishing the half with four goals. Maryland scored four straight as a team within four minutes to take a controlling 5-2 lead.
In the second, Steele continued her strong play, scoring two more goals for six on the game. Maryland as a team began to pull away immediately, going on a 5-1 run to start the half.
Zoe Stukenberg added two goals and Taylor Hensh scored four times in the second half alone. Caroline Wannen finished the game with four goals as well, and despite a quiet night, Megan Whittle scored two goals in the second half.
Megan Taylor was strong again, finishing with nine saves on 18 shots. Going into the postseason, Taylor seems to playing at the top of her game, which is scary for the rest of the country.
While Maryland played well, the Terps struggled in the draw circle. Northwestern bested them 19-10 on draw controls, the only category where the Wildcats had a clear advantage. However, Maryland beat the Wildcats 37-28 in shots, 11-17 in turnovers and 11-6 in caused turnovers.
With the win, Maryland wins the Big Ten regular season outright and clinches the top seed in the Big Ten Tournament. Maryland hosts the tournament, which begins Friday, May 5.
Three Things to Know
- A third straight undefeated season. Maryland’s victory clinched another undefeated regular season. The team has now won 54 straight regular season games, with its last loss coming in 2014.
- Caroline Steele continued her under-the-radar season. With so much offensive firepower, Steele’s strong season tends to get lost. She now has 45 points and 37 goals this season, almost identical to her 45-point, 38-goal season last year. Whittle, Hartshorn and Stukenberg get the praise, but Steele has been invaluable as well.
- Maryland is ready for what’s yet to come. The Terps’ domination against another ranked team proved they are focused on winning another championship. After losing in the final game last year, Maryland is playing motivated lacrosse.