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Maryland women’s lacrosse cruises past Rutgers, 20-8

The Terps lived up to their No. 1 ranking.

NCAA Lacrosse: Women's Semi Final-Maryland vs Syracuse Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

On Rutgers’ senior night in New Jersey, Maryland women’s lacrosse crashed the party with a dominant all-around performance in a 20-8 victory.

Megan Whittle had a big day, including four first-half goals, three of which came within the first five minutes. She now has 41 total goals, which puts her tied for 10th in the country in the category.

Caroline Wannen, usually an under-the-radar player for the Terps, came up huge Saturday night. She totaled six points — three goals and three assists — and has already reached 45 points on the season. The senior has also scored 24 goals this year, a new career high after scoring 18 last year.

Kali Hartshorn continued her strong play, scoring five first-half goals and six total. She now has six goals over the past two games and has registered a hat trick in four of her last six.

Zoe Stukenberg and Taylor Hensh scored a pair each, while Caroline Steele and Brindi Griffin scored once. Even reserves Theo Kwas and Bairre Reilly added a goal each once Cathy Reese emptied her bench.

All three goalkeepers got into the action for the Terps, but none were truly challenged. Megan Taylor allowed five goals on eight shots, technically her worst performance of the year, but she didn’t look too bad. Emily Kift started and Emma Moss finished the second half, combining to allow three goals on six shots.

Maryland couldn’t have started any faster in either half, scoring six goals in the first six minutes of play in the first. In the second, the Terps turned a 5-0 run into an 8-0 to put the Scarlet Knights away.

Maryland also had a stifling defense to go along with its explosive offense. The Terps caused 13 turnovers, and successfully executed 13 of 14 clear attempts. Rutgers never looked comfortable on either end of the field.

Maryland returns to College Park Wednesday to take on Princeton.

Three Things to Know

  1. This was a tremendous bounce-back performance from the Terps. Coming off their worst performance of the season, Maryland was great from the first draw. Sure, Rutgers is only 7-5 on the season, but so was Virginia coming into last game. Regardless of how highly ranked Maryland is, a performance like this is impressive.
  2. Don’t worry about Megan Taylor. Her .375 save percentage may seem bad, but keep in mind she only saw eight shots. She’s had performances where she seemed more off her game than tonight and come back strong the next time around. If there is anyone who has earned the benefit of the doubt, it’s her.
  3. Meghan Doherty returned. After missing the Virginia game, the freshman started Saturday and rejoined a defense that didn’t miss a beat. Staying healthy is paramount with only four games left, so getting Doherty back is huge.