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Maryland women’s lacrosse defeats Johns Hopkins, 19-12

The Terrapins claimed the outright Big Ten regular season title with this win.

Maryland women’s lacrosse Caroline Steele Lila Bromberg / Testudo Times

No. 2-ranked Maryland women’s lacrosse took down No. 23 Johns Hopkins, 19-12, to claim the 2019 Big Ten regular season title on Saturday afternoon in College Park.

The Terrapins used a 38-21 advantage in shots, a 27-16 advantage in shots on target and a 19-14 draw control lead to cruise to victory. Johns Hopkins also turned the ball over 13 times, compared to Maryland’s five, with eight of them being forced by the Terrapin defense.

Senior Erica Evans led all scorers with six goals, while junior Kali Hartshorn added four goals, and junior Brindi Griffin and senior Jen Giles added hat tricks of their own. Sophomore Aurora Cordingley led Johns Hopkins with four goals and one assist, but could not do it all herself. Haley Crosson made 9 of 28 saves for the Blue jays, while Megan Taylor went just 5-for-16 for the Terrapins.

Maryland had the first possession in this one, but John Hopkins was able to force an errant shot by Caroline Steele and score on its ensuing possession. The Terrapins then used a five-goal run to jump out to a 5-1 lead and never looked back. Evans scored the first two Maryland goals and ended the first half with a hat trick.

The second part of the first half got chippy, but the Terrapins were able to carry an 8-5 lead into the break. Blue Jays attacker Aurora Cordingley certainly tried her hardest to keep her team in this one, as she tallied four goals of Johns Hopkins’ five first half goals.

A bit of deja vu occurred at the start of the second half, as Johns Hopkins scored the first goal, but Maryland responded with four of its own. In the sequence, Giles tallied her own hat trick in this game, and her 50th goal of the season.

The rest of the second half was back-and-forth, as Johns Hopkins kept pace with Maryland down the stretch, but the Terrapins were able to keep the Blue Jays at bay and cruise to victory.

Three things to know

1. Erica Evans is coming into form at the perfect time. Evans finished this game with a season-high six goals, marking the third straight game in which she’s scored at least four goals. Hitting her stride ahead of the most important part of the season will be key to the team’s success, and as the Tewaaraton Award nominee looks to add more personal accolades to her credit.

“My confidence is building,” Evans said. “I’m getting used to everybody around me. I think everybody else is getting used to me as well. Everybody is creating lanes for each other and it’s just making my job easier and everybody else’s job easier.”

2. Megan Taylor came up huge when necessary. Despite having just five saves in this game, Taylor played an instrumental part in pushing the Terps forward. She had three saves during Maryland’s run early on in the second half that kept the momentum on the Terrapins’ side.

“I think it starts with [Taylor],” Hartshorn said of Maryland’s success. “It moves to the defense, it goes to the midfield, and it goes to the attack. So I think once we have one good stop, it just comes right back down the field and we try to keep that momentum going.”

3. A new season starts now. The Big Ten women’s lacrosse tournament is up next for Maryland, and will be played at Homewood Field in Baltimore. The Terrapins own the top seed and will face No. 4-seed Penn State in the semifinals, with a game against the winner of Northwestern/Michigan as a potential conference finals matchup.

“The Big Ten conference is tough,” said head coach Cathy Reese. “We play a lot of really good teams all season long, and so you can’t look past anyone and you don’t want to get stuck looking back either. ... Now it’s time to kind of, ‘Enjoy this moment, reset, and get ready for the Big Ten Tournament.’”