261 and April 3, 2019, a number and day that No. 2 Maryland head coach Cathy Reese will never forget. Both, represent the day she passed her predecessor Cindy Timchal as the winningest head coach in program history. Ever since taking over at Maryland (13-0, 3-0 B1G), Reese has had unprecedented success- a career 261-21 record. Tonight, was no different, with the 16-6 victory over No. 8 Virginia (9-5, 1-4 ACC).
With an opportunity for program history on the line, the Terps maintained consistency jumping out to an early 6-0 lead. The Terps jumped all over the Cavaliers in the first eight minutes and didn’t look back. Maryland led in every statistical category except for draw controls, which the Terps made up for by causing nine of the Cavaliers 16 turnovers.
Once again off-ball movement led to success for Maryland early on, senior midfielder Jen Giles found a cutting Erica Evans in stride and Evans finished into the back of the net-her first of three goals on the day. Evans finished despite the defender draped on her hip and scored her goals in similar fashion finding the gap in the defense and providing a clear target for her teammates.
Battling some lower leg injuries the past few games, senior attacker Caroline Steele found her rhythm once again scoring four goals on the night. On her first of four goals, Steele utilized her quickness to dodge around the defender and create separation for the finish. Evans and senior midfielder Meghan Siverson scored consecutive free position goals, extending the Terps lead to four eight minutes in.
Giles scored her first goal of the game, using her patented inside roll dodge to create space leaving her defender in the dust. After a five-minute goal drought, Steele picked up her second goal of the game man up. Steele wrapped around the cage and fired the lefty laser into the back of the net while diving and a defender draped on her back.
While the Terps offense was firing on all cylinders early, Maryland’s suffocating defense continued. The first 20 minutes of the game, Maryland allowed just two shots on goal causing four turnovers not allowing the Cavaliers anything offensively. With 10:33 remaining in the first half, freshman midfielder Lillie Kolak put the Cavaliers on the board cutting the deficit to 6-1.
After Kloak’s goal, Steele and Brindi Griffin stole the show- scoring Maryland’s final five goals of the first half. Entering the game Griffin had been on a tear with 16 points combined in the previous four games, which continued against the Cavaliers. Griffin scored a hat-trick in three minutes continuing to show her outstanding footwork. On her third goal, she picked up a ground ball and in one motion rifled the backhand shot into the net.
After struggling mightily on offense most of the first half, Virginia found its groove in the final 1:52 scoring three goals to the cut the halftime deficit to 11-4. Senior attacker Avery Shoemaker the Cavaliers offensive leader got going, scoring goals No. 36 and 37 on the season. Virginia capitalized on its momentum, junior midfielder Nora Bowen scored the first goal of the second half cutting the Cavalier deficit to 11-5.
However, less than two minutes later Griffin struck again her fourth goal of the game, which began a 4-0 run-shattering any hopes of a Cavalier comeback. Griffin once again showcased her lethal dodging ability from behind the cage, left goalie Charlie Campbell no chance to make the in-tight save. Evans, Giles and Siverson scored the next three goals each in a different fashion, once again displaying the versatility of Maryland’s offense.
Increasing the lead to ten again, Maryland still maintained the same competitive intensity with each team exchanging a goal- first senior attacker Angie Loynaz for Virginia and then sophomore midfielder Grace Griffin for the Terps.
The road for the Terps does not get any easier, however, now Maryland will host No. 7 Michigan in a matchup of undefeated teams at Maryland Stadium on Saturday with first draw scheduled for 5 p.m.
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