April 13, 2014

Maryland Uses Late Run to Ice Virginia, 13-8

by Joe Atmonavage | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter

Brooke Griffin scored five for the Terrapins, who pulled away late to earn a key ACC win over Virginia. (John Strohsacker/LaxMagazine.com)

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In what was the final battle between two ACC rivals, No. 2 Maryland used some stingy second half defensive and some timely scoring to beat No. 20 Virginia 13-8 in College Park, Md. Sunday.

The first half was a chess match as each team tried to implement their style of play into the game early. Maryland came out and attacked the Virginia defense right off the bat hitting the post multiple times on their opening possession. Virginia had no problem working the ball on offense and waiting to take advantage of a lapse in the Maryland defense.

The game went back and forth throughout the first half and a Kelly Boyd goal with six seconds left in the first half allowed Virginia to tie the game going into the half 6-6. Virginia's extremely patient offense gave the Terps trouble in the first half.

"I think it is hard. It is easier said than done," Maryland coach Cathy Reese said when asked about staying discipline against a patient offense. "When you are out there you are asking your team to communicate with each other and always be ready and then all of a sudden they kick it into gear and go to goal. You kind of get caught on your heels."

Virginia caught the Terps on their heels multiple times in the first half, allowing them to stay in the game against Maryland's potent offense. Courtney Swan ran the show for the Cavaliers tallying two goals and three assists.

Maryland came out in the second half with a different look in their eye and junior Brooke Griffin set the tone quickly. Griffin found the back of the net just 15 seconds into the second half.

"We came out strong and just played our game," Griffin said.

Griffin and midfielder Taylor Cummings, who notched six and five points, respectively, led Maryland. Griffin sliced through the Virginia defense all afternoon to score five goals along with one assist. With so many scoring options, Maryland can be a tough offense to stop.

"They have so many kids that you have to contain that you kind of can't do it all," said Virginia coach Julie Myers. "You do live and die by the fact that two people can beat you if they are on."

Maryland's offensive weapons may have been their usual selves in the second half, but the second half defense was key in getting the win in front of a crowd of 1,167 at Maryland's Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex.

"In the second half I thought we had doubles on challenges pretty quickly and we were better on cutters. We were a little more aggressive," Reese said. "That was huge for us in limiting them to only two goals in the second half.

The goalies on both sides had strong performances. Maryland's Abbey Clipp had one of her better games of the season recording 10 saves. Virginia's Liz Colgan also had 10 saves.

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