Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics

4 Terps record hat tricks as Maryland cruises past James Madison

The No. 1 ranked Maryland women’s lacrosse team (9-0) kept its perfect season alive, as it cruised past James Madison (6-5) on Saturday by a final score of 16-11.

The Terps were led by Zoe Stukenberg, Megan Whittle, Caroline Steele and Kali Hartshorn, all of whom recorded hat tricks in the win.

It took a bit longer than expected for the Terps to get going in the first half, but when they did, it was a dominant showing from the nation’s top team. Steele scored a goal, her second of the game, with 17:13 on the clock, that sparked a 7-2 Terps run to close out the half. Steele and attacker Megan Whittle were the catalysts for Maryland in the first half, combining for six points.

The Terps kept up the intensity at the start of the second half, as they extended their lead to double digits with 20:35 remaining. The Dukes made a run toward the end of regulation, outscoring the Terps 7-3 in the final 17:24, but it was too little, too late for James Madison as the Terps held on for their ninth victory of the year.

With three more goals today, Hartshorn, the freshman from Allentown, New Jersey, has recorded a hat trick in four of her last five games. She now ranks fourth on the team with 18 goals this season.

Caroline Wannen maintained her team lead in points with a goal and two assists against the Dukes. The senior attacker has totaled 34 points through the season’s first nine games.

Senior goalie Emily Kift was substituted into the game for Megan Taylor with 15:33 remaining in the second half after the sophomore let up three straight goals. Taylor finished the day with six saves, seven goals allowed and a .462 save percentage in her 44 minutes of work. Kift capitalized on her playing time, notching five saves and allowing four goals, good for a .556 save percentage.

Freshman midfielder Maddie McDaniel, who hails from Severna Park, Maryland, led the charge for the Dukes, scoring a season-high four goals on five shots.

Maryland now looks forward to a primetime showdown against No. 3 Florida (8-1), which is coming off of a 15-8 victory over No. 13 Denver on Saturday. The Terps and Gators square off on Wednesday at 2 p.m. in College Park.