COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Brooke Griffin netted a game-high six points to lead No. 3 seed Maryland to a 15-12 victory against UMass Saturday in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Championship.
Griffin joined freshman Kelly McPartland and senior Kristy Black as Terps with hat tricks on the day. Maryland (18-3) is now 11-1 in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Tewaaraton Award finalist Katie Schwarzmann added five points on two goals and three assists.
Defensively, the Terps were able to limit one of the nation’s top offenses, holding UMass (19-2) to 10 goals on the day. A-10 Player of the Year Katie Ferris managed only one goal Saturday. Iliana Sanza tallied a game-high six ground balls and also caused a pair of turnovers to lead a steady defensive effort.
Despite a 17-day layoff, the Terps attack looked sharp early, registering the first three goals of the game. A pesky UMass squad attempted to slow the pace of the contest in the opening half, but Maryland still possessed a 7-5 advantage heading into the locker room at the break.
A goal by Griffin 13 seconds into the second stanza appeared to set a tone early in the period. Following a UMass goal at 18:23 to shrink Maryland’s lead to three, the Terps put together a punishing 5-0 run with scores coming from five different players. Maryland held on tight at the end of the match to pick up the win and move on to the quarterfinals next Saturday.
“I’d like to congratulate UMass on a fantastic season, they came to play today and I thought they played really hard. They deserve a lot of credit,” head coach Cathy Reese said.
“Today we played against a team that chose to hold the ball on us so we needed to make sure we made our possessions count. We made a couple adjustments at halftime and I thought we did a little better in the second half. We are really happy to get through today and be where we are. We’ll be ready to go at it on Saturday.”
Maryland will play host to the winner of the Loyola (Md.)/Penn first round game next Saturday at the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex. First draw is slated for noon.