Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics
Caroline Steele stole the show in Charlottesville as No. 1 Maryland defeated No. 18 Virginia 16-11 Wednesday night.
Steele recorded a hat trick in the 1st half alone before notching two more goals in the second half to finish with five in total. The sophomore attacker added two assists as well, finishing with a career-high seven points.
The Virginia defense stifled the top-ranked offense in the nation for much of the first half. Cavaliers’ goalkeeper Rachel Vander Kolk started out the game hot, saving five out of the Terps’ first six shots on goal.
Kolk finished the game with 12 saves and 16 goals allowed, resulting in a .429 save percentage.
The Terps finally got rolling in the final 10 minutes of the first half with Steele being the catalyst. She scored three straight goals for the Terps to give them their first lead of the game with 1:30 to go in the first half.
The Terps were up 7-6 at halftime, but Virginia came out storming in the second half. After surrendering the first goal of the half to go down 8-6, the Cavaliers scored three straight to take the lead 9-8.
After the Cavs’ early frenzy, the Terps defense and goalie Megan Taylor shut the door for the most of the second half.
Virginia struggled with the Terps’ man-to-man defense as Maryland began to dominate the game and pull away late.
In the final 14:32, the Terps only gave up two goals and scored seven.
Taylor finished the game with 10 saves and 11 goals allowed, finishing with a .476 save percentage, a sub-par performance for the sophomore goalie’s standards.
This loss drops Virginia to 7-6 on the season and hands them their second loss in a row.
The Cavaliers were led by junior midfielder Kasey Behr, who recorded a hat trick for the Cavs. Seven different players scored for Virginia.
This game was more competitive for the Terps than usual. The Terps offense struggled at times, but they showed how explosive they can be late in the second half.
This win keeps their undefeated season alive and moves them to 12-0 on the season.
Virginia heads to Happy Valley to face Penn State Saturday at 1 p.m.
The Terps look to keep rolling Saturday as they travel to New Jersey to take on Rutgers in Big Ten action.
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