BALTIMORE — Maryland is back on top of the women’s lacrosse world, defeating Boston College 12-10 Sunday to capture the 2019 NCAA championship.
The No. 1-seed Terrapins faced immense pressure from the No. 2-seed Eagles early and often, but senior goalie Megan Taylor played lights-out and let Maryland build a lead that it was able to sustain. Boston College made a run to bring a tense finish, but the championship trophy is coming back to College Park.
Grace Griffin and Brindi Griffin led Maryland with three goals each, while Jen Giles, Caroline Steele and Kali Hartshorn each scored twice. Taylor played one of her best games of the season, tallying 10 saves and a .500 save percentage. Kenzie Kent and Sam Apuzzo led the Eagles with five and three goals, respectively, but Maryland had enough.
Both teams were fairly even in stats, just like the Terrapins’ semifinal matchup against Northwestern. Both teams had 20 shots on goal , but Maryland led 12-11 in draws and forced seven Boston College turnovers. The Eagles also committed 36 fouls and were called for five yellow cards, while the Terrapins finished with 18 fouls and went a player down just once.
Steele opened the scoring for both teams, but Boston College was able to answer with two goals of its own. The Terrapins then settled in and took control of the game, opening up a 5-2 lead. They led 8-3 late in the first half, with Brindi Griffin scoring three times and Grace Griffin twice. Apuzzo got on the board twice to make it 8-4 at the half. Maryland was carried in the opening period by Taylor, who saved seven of the Eagles’ 11 first-half shots on goal. Boston College’s Lauren Daly went 5-of-13 in the frame.
Both teams went back and forth in the second half, but Maryland took momentum after Jen Giles scored with 7:18 remaining in the game to make it 12-8 in favor of the Terps. Boston College went two players down at one point, but still put pressure on Maryland with a free-position goal by Kent with 4:12 remaining. The senior added another goal off a free-position chance with 3:50 left, making it 12-10.
After being awarded a draw and taking some time off the clock, the Terps gave the ball up to Boston College and Lizzie Colson was given a yellow card on the ride. But a charge at the other end by the Eagles allowed Maryland to hold the ball with no possession clock.
Maryland called timeout to settle down and draw up a plan, and gave the Eagles no chance to complete the comeback.
Three things to know
1. Maryland’s defense led the way. The Terps were able to hold Sam Apuzzo to limited touches and three goals, and as a whole, Maryland’s stifling of the Eagles allowed for the early lead. Taylor was incredible in net, and the defense made few shots come easy. Giles let out a huge scream after the Terps forced a huge possession clock violation towards the end of the half to preserve a four-goal advantage. Boston College made a run in the second half, but the lead stood until the final whistle.
2. The Eagles pressed the Terps, but patience paid off. Boston College put pressure on Maryland, pressing during the ride whenever the Terps tried to clear a defensive stop. The Terrapins, who rank second in the nation in avoiding turnovers with just 11.64 per game, used their patience and committed just 12 giveaways.
3. Maryland’s 14th NCAA Championship was earned by the senior class. Megan Taylor, Jen Giles, Caroline Steele, Julia Braig and even the likes of Erica Evans led the Terrapins through this season and were monumental in the team’s successes. Sunday was no different, as Taylor notched 10 saves and seniors accounted for four goals. The four-year veterans finished their careers with two titles and just four losses total.