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Maryland women’s lacrosse defeats Johns Hopkins, 19-16, in Big Ten semifinal

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The Terps will play for a conference championship on Sunday.

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

Maryland women’s lacrosse was inconsistent all night, but the undefeated Terps found a way to beat Johns Hopkins 19-16 in the Big Ten Tournament semifinal on Friday night.

The Blue Jays gave the Terps a tougher fight the second time around, after losing 17-4 in their first meeting. However, Maryland’s offense was too much.

Maryland’s balanced offense was the biggest factor in its win, as four players combined for 16 of its 19 goals. Megan Whittle and Caroline Steele both collected five to lead the team. Kali Hartshorn finished with four goals herself, while Zoe Stukenberg scored three times. Caroline Wannen and Brindi Griffin also scored once each.

Statistically, Megan Taylor struggled in the game. Maryland’s goalkeeper allowed 16 goals on 23 attempts, the most goals Taylor and the team as a whole have let up this year. However, as usual, Taylor made some big saves down the stretch to keep the game out of Johns Hopkins’ reach.

The first half featured streaky play by both sides, as each team scored at least three straight goals twice. The biggest run belonged to Maryland, who scored six straight in eight minutes after being down 3-1 early.

Johns Hopkins played with more explosion after struggling offensively in the previous meeting. The Blue Jays reached the four-goal mark less than a quarter of the way into the game. Ultimately, though, the Terps entered halftime with a 12-8 advantage.

Maryland’s 12 first-half goals were evenly divided between four players who each had a hat trick. Whittle, Stukenberg, Steele and Hartshorn each scored three goals in the half, with Steele doing so in a three-minute span and Hartshorn in a two-minute span.

In the second half, the play slowed down as both teams were being patient on offense. Johns Hopkins outscored Maryland 8-7, but despite scoring three of the final four goals, the Terps’ offense was too much for the Blue Jays to handle.

Draw controls were a crucial part of this game. Six of the first seven draws led to goals by the team who won that draw. In the end, Maryland won the draw control battle 23-14, and it was a big reason the Terps were able to come out victorious.

Maryland will play the winner of Northwestern-Penn State in the Big Ten final Sunday at noon.

Three Things to Know

  1. Maryland’s defense was inconsistent. Johns Hopkins found holes in the defense all night, keeping the Blue Jays in the game. Maryland will need to improve the play on its own end of the field in order to enjoy the same result Sunday.
  2. Milestone for Megan Whittle. Whittle’s third goal of the game was No. 200 of her career. She becomes the sixth Terp to reach the milestone, doing so in 63 career games, which is the fastest in school history.
  3. Quick turnaround. Maryland has less than 48 hours to prepare for the Big Ten championship, the team’s shortest rest period of the year. After a hard fought, physical game, fatigue may be a factor on Sunday,