No. 3 Maryland Uses Second Half Surge to Defeat No. 4 Virginia, 10-6
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The No. 4 Virginia women’s lacrosse team saw its run for its sixth Atlantic Coast Conference title come to an end Friday evening at Maryland’s Ludwig Field, as the third-ranked Terrapins (15-1) used a five-goal run to open the second half and held on for a 10-6 victory in the semifinals of the 2010 ACC Tournament.
“I’m proud of the way Virginia competed and fought today,” head coach Julie Myers said. “I thought defensively, we did a great job on some of the best attackers in the country. If our transition game could have been cleaner, if we could have generated a few more opportunities for our attackers to do their thing and if we hit some of our 8-meter shots, I think the game would have had a much different ending. But all in all, I think our girls battled. They rose to the challenge of really trying to match up with one of the best teams in the country, but we just came up a little short today.”
Senior All-American Brittany Kalkstein led the Cavaliers on the evening with four goals, while sophomore Julie Gardner and freshman Annie Thomas each tacked on one. Senior All-American Kaitlin Duff and senior Caity Whiteley rounded out the scoring, each being credited for an assist.
Throughout the midfield, Virginia struggled in transition, only clearing six of 13 attempts – a season low, while the Terrapins were able to advance the ball on all 10 of their attempts.
For Maryland’s attack, Brandi Jones and Laura Merrifield shared the offensive load, each tallying three scores, while Karri Ellen Johnson added two.
Kalkstein led the Cavaliers in the opening half, scoring the first and last goal of the stanza. Notching the first goal of the game, Kalkstein got Virginia on the board first at the 23:30 mark before the Terrapins responded with back-to-back scores at 21:30 and 17:08.
Following almost 14 minutes of scoreless actions, the Cavaliers looked to take advantage of an opportunity with about three-and-a-half minutes remaining, but Maryland’s Brittany Dipper stopped Virginia’s shot attempt at 3:23 and the Terrapins raced up field with it. After just crossing the restraining line though, freshman Caroline McTiernan caused a turnover and Whiteley scooped up the loose ball to give Virginia another opportunity.
Kalkstein capitalized on the final-seconds chance, firing a shot into the upper corner at 0:20, knotting the score at 2-2 heading into the intermission.
Out of the break, Maryland dominated the game, scoring five-straight goals before Virginia was able to advance the ball to its offensive end.
Down 7-2 with 17:34 to play, Duff found Kalkstein who notched her third goal of the game at 15:42. Kalkstein then tacked on a second-unanswered score at 14:14 to bring the Cavaliers within three, at 7-4.
Maryland responded with another score at 12:41, before Thomas converted a free position shot at 8:10, to keep the Cavaliers within three, at 8-5. But the Terrapins would use back-to-back scores from Merrifield to extend their lead to five.
With 37 seconds on the clock, Gardner flipped a pass from Whiteley into the back of the net, bringing the final score to 10-6.
Defensively, redshirt junior Lauren Benner came up with 10 saves for the Cavaliers, while junior Liz Downs and McTiernan each had two ground balls. Duff, Gardner, Kalkstein and McTiernan all won two draw controls for Virginia.
The Cavaliers (13-4) will return to action on Friday, April 30, heading to Chicago, Ill., to face No. 2 Northwestern. Game time is slated for 7 p.m.