Sunday’s rematch between Penn women’s lacrosse and No. 1 Maryland was different from the squads’ first meeting of the season in many ways. The end result, however, was not one of them.
In a game characterized by a series of runs from the Terrapins as well as staunch defense from the nation’s top-ranked team, Maryland managed to take down the Quakers for the second time in less than two months, capturing a 13-5 victory in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Just like its first matchup against the Terrapins on March 19, Penn found itself on the wrong end of the opening draw. Yet unlike the previous contest, the Red and Blue’s defense held strong in the early going, forcing several missed shots and two turnovers in the game’s first four minutes.
After withstanding Maryland’s early onslaught, the Quakers managed to strike first, taking a 1-0 lead when senior midfield Lindsey Smith found the back of the net 4:24 into the first half.
Smith’s early unassisted goal had Penn in a much better position than in the team’s first matchup with the Terrapins. Back in March, Maryland scored a mere 14 seconds into the game and Penn found itself in a 4-0 hole before it could get on the board.
Unfortunately for the Quakers, Smith’s strike was one of the few highlights on Sunday for the eight-time defending Ivy League champions. Maryland responded with a 4-0 run thanks to goals by sophomore midfield Taylor Cummings, junior attack Kristen Lamon, and a pair of goals 10 seconds apart by junior attack Kelly McPartland and senior midfield Beth Glaros.
Trailing 4-1 with 11:38 remaining, the Quakers’ leading goal-scorer in 2014, senior midfield Tory Bensen, cut into the Terps lead with her 41st goal of the season. Sophomore midfield Nina Corcoran assisted on Bensen’s goal, her fifth assist in two games in this year’s NCAA Tournament.
54 seconds after Penn cut the score to 4-2, Corcoran found the back of the net with an unassisted goal of her own, bringing the Quakers within one.
It was the closest the Red and Blue would get the rest of the day.
Consecutive goals from junior attack Brooke Griffin over the next four minutes expanded Maryland’s lead to 6-3.
Bensen’s second goal of the afternoon stopped the bleeding momentarily with 3:39 remaining in the first period as the Quakers got within two goals yet again. But Glaros scored on a free position shot 55 second later, and Cummings added an unassisted goal with 33 second left before halftime to put Maryland up, 8-4, at the break.
The Terps seized control of Sunday’s game due in large part to their stifling defense. After Bensen’s goal cut Maryland’s lead to 6-4, the nation’s top-ranked squad closed out the contest by scoring seven of the game’s final eight goals.
And unlike the first half, the Red and Blue were unable to contain the Terps’ potent attack in the second period. Glaros completed the hat trick with an unassisted score just 21 seconds after halftime and Maryland was well on its way to victory.
Bensen completed the hat trick with her 43rd goal of the season with 19:50 remaining. But the Quakers went scoreless thereafter as the Terps added four goals to its total to seal the win.
Penn now enters its offseason off of a campaign in which it had the fifth-most wins in program history. Though the Quakers fell in their second game of this year’s Tournament, it marked the first time since 2010 that the Red and Blue won a game in the postseason.
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