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Maryland women’s lacrosse avoids upset, escapes from No. 18 Virginia in 16-11 win

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Caroline Steele led the Terps to their 12th straight victory.

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

In its toughest game of the year, Maryland women’s lacrosse escaped from Charlottesville with a 16-11 victory over Virginia despite being down for half the game.

Caroline Steele carried the Terps offense at times in this game, finishing with five goals. Steele, who came into the game with 20 goals on the season, scored a hat trick over a five minute stretch in the first to give Maryland a one-goal lead. She then scored two goals late in the second to begin a Maryland 6-0 run to pull away.

Freshmen Brindi Griffin and Kali Hartshorn played a huge role in this game. Griffin came on late again, scoring two goals in the final eight minutes, and has now scored eight goals over her past three games. Meanwhile, Hartshorn scored two goals and collected six draw controls, which was tied for the game-lead.

Megan Whittle also had a hat trick, extending her team lead to 37 goals. Zoe Stukenberg finished the game with a goal, three assists and five draw controls, while Jen Giles scored two goals of her own. Taylor Hensh added a goal as well.

In the cage, Megan Taylor had an up-and-down night. She allowed 11 goals on 21 shots for a .476 save percentage, but she once again made big saves at crucial times to stop Virginia from going on extended runs.

Virginia, one of the most physical teams in the country, more than doubled Maryland in fouls 34-16. While Maryland had their issues with this to start, the team settled in as the game progressed.

This win increased the Terps record to 6-0 over ranked teams entering the game. Next up, Maryland heads to New Jersey to face Rutgers on Saturday.

Three Things to Know

  1. Maryland had a slow start, but never allowed any extended runs. Virginia started the game on a 5-3 run where they looked a step faster than the Terps. However, the Cavaliers largest run was 3-0 as Maryland was able to control Virginia’s offense despite being down for a large portion of the game.
  2. The goalkeeper matchup was surprisingly even. Megan Taylor came into the game ranked 79 spots ahead of Virginia goalkeeper Rachel Vander Kolk in save percentage. Yet, Taylor finished the game with only a .05 difference in save percentage over Vander Kolk, with Vander Kolk accumulating more total saves.
  3. Maryland impressed with its composure. Maryland was down for the majority of the first 47 minutes, when the team did lead they didn’t by more than two goals. Combine this with Virginia’s physicality and most teams would’ve began to crumble. However, despite all the adversity, Maryland showed how mentally strong this veteran team is.