COLLEGE PARK – The University of Maryland lacrosse men's and women's teams both advanced in the NCAA Tournament on May 13 – although the women had an easier time than the men and both used a similar formula.
Maryland’s women started slowly against the University of Denver before breaking things open in the second half en route to a 15-4 victory over the Pioneers.
Overall, Megan Whittle led the way with six goals and two assists. Caroline Steele scored four goals while Jen Giles notched three.
Whittle now has 82 goals so far this season as Maryland improved to 19-1 while Denver ended their season at 13-7.
Maryland coach Cathy Reese liked the way her team bounced back from the tough first half and took care of business after that.
“Just taking a deep breath and settling in on offense and figuring out where our opening was in the second half (was big),” Reese said. “We made some changes and talked about some things at halftime and came out and did that.”
For the women, the offense started slowly in the first half, and they held just a 4-2 halftime lead over Denver.
The Terrapins scored four goals in the first 10 minutes and then were held to nothing the rest of the half as Denver crept back to 4-2. Then, the Pioneers scored two in a row early in the second half and cut Maryland’s lead to 6-4 with 21:34 left.
After that, it was all Terrapins.
Giles scored twice in 59 seconds, and Steele added two more in 82 seconds as the Terrapins quickly broke the game open. The final nine goals of this game belonged to Maryland as it advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals.
Goalie Megan Taylor also helped with 11 saves and got help from her defense.
“Our defense played fantastically,” Reese said. “Megan Taylor was fantastic in the cage. I think that was the first time all year we have held a team to under five goals, and that is one of our goals as a team and something we are really proud of.”
They will play Navy at home on Saturday in the next round of the Tournament.
The men needed to rally for 11 goals in the second half to get past Robert Morris University 14-11. They were trailing 6-3 at halftime before breaking out for the big second half.
Maryland’s men improved to 13-3 with the victory and now will go to a fifth consecutive NCAA quarterfinal.
The Terps are going to play on Sunday in Annapolis at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
Connor Kelly led the way with four goals, and goalie Dan Morris tied his season high with 13 saves. He kept them in the game early on as Robert Morris led throughout most of the first half.
However, Maryland quickly turned things around, scoring four straight goals in less than four minutes. The Colonials kept battling back and cut the lead to 10-9 early in the final quarter but Jared Bernhardt and Tim Rotanz scored, and the Terps were in command.