No. 2-ranked Maryland women’s lacrosse took down No. 14 Princeton, 15-7, on Wednesday night in the first women’s lacrosse matchup televised on FS1.
The Terrapins took an early lead and were able to simply see their way through this one until the final whistle. Both Kali Hartshorn and Jen Giles notched four goals and an assist, with Hartshorn securing 11 draw controls. Goalie Megan Taylor was brilliant again, stopping 14 of the 21 shots she faced.
Despite Princeton outshooting Maryland in the first half, the Terrapins controlled the second half. The teams ended the game even in shots at 26 total and 21 on target, but Maryland had a truly dominating 18-6 advantage in the draw circle.
Hartshorn won the opening draw for Maryland, and the Terrapins started off as hot as they could be, scoring the first three goals, including two in the first 60 seconds of the game. The rest of the half would be a back-and-forth 5-4 run in Maryland’s favor, as the Terrapins took an 8-4 lead into the half. Giles and Hartshorn each had two goals and one assist, while Brindi Griffin scored a flashy goal and had two assists herself.
Princeton actually led 14-13 in first half shots and 11-10 in shots on target, but Maryland held a 9-4 advantage in the draw control and had seven saves made by Taylor.
The second half started off slow for both teams, but the Terrapins were able to break the ice by scoring the first four goals of the half to pull away even further. Princeton answered at the 10:01 mark with a goal by Kyla Sears, but Maryland took it right back to them by scoring three more goals. The Tigers finished the game with two Elizabeth George goals in the final 30 seconds, but their fate was determined by that point.
Maryland head coach Cathy Reese is now one victory away from tying Cindy Timchal’s program record for wins. The Terrapins return to Big Ten play on Saturday as they head north to play Rutgers.
Three things to know
1. Different players are stepping up when needed. Kali Hartshorn and Jen Giles led the way for Maryland with four goals and one assist each, but the Terrapins had seven different goal scorers in this one. The absence of Caroline Steele due to an ankle injury suffered against Penn State certainly could have left a ripple in the Maryland offense, but the team has not missed a beat.
“I think on offense we focus a lot on playing together and really spreading out and seeing the opportunities we have,” Giles said. “This week we just worked on our typical offense, and our defense in practice really challenges us to play [against] whatever style of defense we’re going to see.” Giles also added that it was encouraging to see the first five Maryland goals scored by different players.
2. This was a slow-paced game plagued with turnovers. Both teams combined for 29 turnovers, which resulted in a few extended periods of time without a goal scored. The Terrapins had 17, but were able to use a three-goal run to start the game and scored the first four of the second half to pace themselves ahead of the Tigers.
“[Turnovers] seem to be the thing I’m talking about the most right now,” Reese said. “That’s been something that’s bit us in a couple games, and it’s something that I don’t have an answer because it’s not just one spot. It’s not just on the defensive end in transition, it’s not just on the offensive end. ... We just kind of need to take a deep breath and make sure, one, that we’re not getting complacent out there, and two, that we’re not getting ahead of ourselves and trying to move too fast.”
3. Megan Taylor continues to dominate against the best competition. Taylor leads all goalkeepers with a 58.5 percent save percentage so far this season, and despite playing some of the best talent, she has not wavered. With her 14 saves tonight, Taylor has now put up five double-digit save performances in 2019, all of which have come against top-15 opponents.
“That stats speak for themselves, she’s amazing,” junior defender Lizzie Colson said after Taylor’s latest brilliant performance. “Even if I get beat, I know Megan has my back and she’s communicating the whole game... I can’t say enough about her, she’s so good.”