Maryland women’s lacrosse trailed almost all afternoon, but came back to hold off Stony Brook and clinch its ninth straight Final Four appearance.
With 3:18 left, Caroline Steele tied the game for the first time since 1-1. With 2:14 remaining, Taylor Hensh gave Maryland its first and only lead of the game. The Terps are now 21-0 this season, but no win was tougher.
Stony Brook had the No. 1 scoring defense coming into the game, and it showed. The Seawolves’ defense gave Maryland’s offense no room with which to work. But after winning the possession battle all game, the Terps finally broke through consistently late in the second.
Zoe Stukenberg would not go away quietly in her final game in College Park, scoring a hat trick, including a buzzer-beater to end the first half. She also collected a loose ball with six minutes remaining that led to the tying goal.
Taylor Hensh’s hat trick was the biggest performance of the day, scoring all three in the second half. Jen Giles scored twice and five other Terps scored once, including Megan Whittle and Caroline Wannen.
The freshmen came up big, as Kali Hartshorn and Brindi Griffin both scored and put pressure on Stony Brook’s defense. Lizzie Colson came off the bench to win four huge draw controls, a Cathy Reese adjustment that paid off.
Megan Taylor struggled all game, allowing 12 goals against only seven saves. She allowed a few easy scores during Stony Brook’s 5-1 run to open the game and took a while to get going. Her counterpart, Anna Tesoriero, came out strong and made life difficult for the Maryland, but the Terps offense started to figure her out by half.
In the first half, Maryland’s offense failed to find a rhythm. The Terps only totaled two goals through 21 minutes of play, allowing Stony Brook to go up by as much as four. For the first time all season, the Terps trailed at halftime. However, they slowly chipped at the lead to make it a one-goal game at the half.
In the second half, Maryland faced many of the same issues that it did in the first. However, down 11-7, something clicked for the Terps. Hensh and Giles totaled three goals in over a minute to cut the lead to one before Stony Brook responded on the other end, going up 12-10.
To counter, Maryland kept the ball on its offensive end. In the final eight minutes, the majority of the game was spent with Maryland on offense, taking pressure off Taylor. By keeping possesion, Maryland took the ball out of Kylie Ohlmiller’s hands as she looked like she would contribute to a goal every time she had the ball. The Terps picked up their struggling goaltender, as she’s done so often this season.
The Terps won draw controls 19-7 and Stony Brook out-fouled Maryland 58-15. Both stats were huge for Maryland keeping momentum and possession.
Maryland plays the winner of Princeton-Penn State in the NCAA semifinals.
Three Things to Know
- The seniors are officially undefeated at home. Maryland hasn’t lost at home in over five years, and the senior class will end undefeated at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex. This was a tremendous way to finish the streak.
- Maryland is going to its ninth straight Final Four. The Terps haven’t missed the semifinals since 2008, a ridiculous accomplishment for any sport. They have a chance to finish what they started after losing in last year’s championship.
- Stony Brook was a tremendous opponent. Maryland defeated the nation’s points leader and likely Tewaaraton Award winner in Ohlmiller and a team that was awesome on both offense and defense. The Seawolves made life difficult for Maryland, but the Terps had the ability to bounce back when it mattered the most.