WASHINGTON— No. 2-ranked Maryland women’s lacrosse erased an early deficit to take down No. 24 Georgetown, 17-8.
Similar to the last matchup against Northwestern, Maryland allowed its opponent to get going early, and struggled as it tried to claw back. Georgetown led 8-4 at halftime, the Terrapins’ largest halftime deficit since 2012. But the second half was a totally different story, as the Terrapins used a seven-goal run to take their first lead and run away with the game, ultimately winning the period 13-0.
Maryland outshot Georgetown 32-21, led 24-14 in shots on target and was able to command the draw control with a 21-6 advantage. Jen Giles led the way with five goals and two assists, Erica Evans added four goals, and both Brindi Griffin and Grace Griffin notched hat tricks. Megan Taylor finished with six saves, four of which came in the second half. Despite not scoring a goal, Kali Hartshorn was a huge factor in the second-half surge and finished with a season-high 12 draw controls.
The Hoyas started the game with a 4-1 run through the first 10:59. Maryland got on the board thanks to an unassisted effort by Brindi Griffin, but overall the offense struggled to convert, which Georgetown made them pay for on the other end.
The rest of the first half was much more back and forth, with Georgetown leading a 4-3 run, thanks to a goal with 26.2 seconds left in the half. Maryland head coach Cathy Reese attempted to call a timeout and set up her defense before the shot, but the Hoyas had already released it when the horn sounded and the goal stood.
Though the Terrapins trailed at the half, they were neck-and-neck with the Hoyas statistically. Georgetown led 15-13 in shots, 9-8 in shots on target and had nine turnovers, compared to just two by the Terrapins. Maryland controlled 9 of 13 draws and were fouled 13 times by the Hoyas, while giving up just two.
Maryland found its groove, to say the least, as it ripped off a 7-0 run and dominated the second half. Three goals from Giles and two from Evans in that span helped propel the Terrapins to their first lead and push further ahead.
The Terrapins scored six more goals down the stretch, and the defense held Georgetown scoreless to take the victory. Megan Taylor made four big saves, and Maryland dominated the draw to keep the Hoyas off the board.
Three things to know
1. It took a while for Maryland to settle in. Taking an 8-4 deficit into the half was new territory for the Terrapins this season, but they were able to overcome the early struggles. Upperclassmen really stepped up on the offensive end, while Megan Taylor returned to her usual self in the second half.
“The first half we just came out a little flat,” Evans said. “In the second half we just started playing Maryland lacrosse, finishing our shots, locking down on defense, and doing what we do best. ... [Jen Giles and I] knew we needed to go hard and finish our shots and be leaders in that kind of sense.”
2. The Terrapins switched to three midfielders in the second half and it made all the difference. After the shaky first half, Maryland used four attackers instead of just three to help fuel the second-half run. Catie May and Kali Hartshorn were on the field together, rather than splitting time besides Caroline Steele and Brindi Griffin up top.
“When we came out it definitely took a lot of adjusting,” Brindi Griffin said. “They played a zone, we had to adjust to that.”
The key for the Terrapins came on the free position, as their movement in the second half generated more chances, which they were able to convert. “In the first half we weren’t scoring a lot of our free positions,” Griffin said. “We were getting them but not finishing. In the second half, we had the confidence stepping on the line. Everyone was putting them away and that was awesome.”
3. Tough competition still lies ahead. The Terrapins will host Johns Hopkins on Maryland Day April 27 and have a chance to claim sole possession of the Big Ten regular-season title. Despite weak starts in recent games, Maryland must keep pushing along as games become increasingly more important from here on out.
“The energy is there,” Reese said looking forward to the home matchup next weekend on Maryland Day. “The team’s fired up, they’re ready. ... From this point on you’re playing for something in every game we go for and I know these guys are fired up. This team is capable of amazing things.”