Team Takes Share of Title With Win Over No. 2 Northwestern, 15-9
Photo by Zach Bland/Maryland Terrapins
Libby May dropped her stick, clapped her hands and jumped toward fellow attacker Aurora Cordingley as the No. 8 women's lacrosse team celebrated in front of a packed crowd on Saturday at the University of Maryland’s Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex.
May had just recorded the sixth of her seven goals—a career high for the junior Sparks, Md., native. On the other side of the cage, goalkeeper Emily Sterling was setting a career high herself with 16 saves.
And by the end of the afternoon, head coach Cathy Reese's squad had claimed a share of the Big Ten title with a 15-9 thumping of No. 2 Northwestern.
"We stepped on the field with a sense of swagger. We owned this place,” May said.
Her seven goals led Maryland's (14-1, 5-0 Big Ten) offense. Hannah Leubecker and Grace Griffin also recorded multi-goal games. Sterling held Northwestern (13-3, 5-1 Big Ten) to its fewest goals since March 6 as the Wildcats snapped a nine-game win streak. Jill Girardi had a hat trick.
This is Maryland's sixth Big Ten regular season championship, following a 5-0 in conference play. It won the title in each season from 2015-19. It's also the Terps' ninth Big Ten championship and 30th conference championship in total, as they won 21 in the ACC. Maryland can win the title outright with a victory at No. 19 Michigan on Saturday.
Leubecker and Shannon Smith opened the scoring, giving Maryland an early 2-0 advantage in the first five minutes. Northwestern kept the game close, clinging to a 4-3 deficit at the end of one. May netted two goals in the first quarter. The Terps went on a 4-0 run starting with May's second goal.
Victoria Hensh, Kate Sites and Griffin kicked off the second quarter with goals as Maryland jumped out to a 7-3 lead. May added two more goals later in the second quarter as Maryland took a 10-5 lead to halftime.
Maryland's offense kept rolling in the third quarter, with goals from Griffin, Eloise Clevenger and two more from May. Northwestern clawed back late in the fourth, scoring a trio to pull to a 15-9 deficit.
The crowd of 2,123 was the biggest at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex since 2018. Maryland is now 158-5 at home under head coach Cathy Reese.
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