Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

No. 2 Maryland women’s lacrosse ravishes Duke, 19-6

Early in the first half, a 3-0 Duke run created mounting pressure for the Terps.

The Terps’ then found lightning in a bottle. Maryland went on to win eight draw controls in a row. During the continuous run, the Terps’ offense found the back of the net on every single one of those possessions. 

“That was so huge for us,” head coach Cathy Reese said.

The rapid 8-0 run was more than enough for the Terps to send its former ACC rival home.

In A dominant offensive performance, Maryland punched its ticket to the NCAA Quarterfinals, as they blew out the Blue Devils, 19-6.

Eloise Clevenger immediately lit the match for Maryland’s offense.

After winning the opening draw, Clevenger found the back of the net on Maryland’s first possession. After a defensive stop, it was Clevenger once again putting it past Blue Devils’ goalie Sophia Lerose.

The Terps didn’t stop there.

Following goals by Grace Griffin and Libby May, the Terps’ lead pushed to 4-0.

“It really doesn’t matter who’s scoring the goals out there,” May said. “Obviously, when they’re shutting off some other attackers, other people have to step up.”

Following a poor start, Duke came storming back.

Katie Keller scored to end the run, and while ending that run, she started a new one. Duke then scored on the next two possessions and suddenly, only trailed by a goal.

The Blue Devils’ run was put to an end moments later by May’s second goal of the afternoon.

An action-packed first quarter ended with the Terps cradling a two-goal advantage.

“I think we settled in defensively after the first quarter,” Reese said.

Shannon Smith opened the second with a bang, but Catriona Barry responded with an incredible off-balance shot that snuck past Sterling.

Back and forth action continued. Clevenger notched a hat trick –  but Keller scored for the second time – keeping the Blue Devils within two.

Hannah Leubecker and Shaylan Ahearn both joined the scoring party on Maryland’s next two possessions. 

The small spark for the Terps’ offense forced Duke to take a timeout as their deficit increased to four.

The Blue Devils’ timeout didn’t help slow the bleeding. In what seemed like the blink of an eye, Maryland celebrated scores two more times – extending their run to 4-0.

“This is where I think this experience piece has helped us this season,” Reese said. “Being able to play 16 different opponents, we’ve seen a lot of different defensive sets, and so the way that our offense was able to react and execute what we needed to do against each of their different sets was awesome today.”

Continuous success on the draw made it look easy for Maryland. Draw after draw, the Terps kept on winning, and the goals kept on coming.

“I know they’re going to win those balls in the circle,” Ahearn said. “It makes my life ten times easier.”

While Maryland continued to pour in goals, Duke went an entire nine minutes without a single offensive possession.

Maryland capped off the half with a whopping 15 goals and a ten-goal lead over the Blue Devils.

“Our offense is being a lot smarter than worrying,” Reese said. “We’ve been a lot smarter about our possessions and trying to control the ball in that end of the field.”

The second half wasn’t a different story. Any possession Duke could muster up failed to bring them any luck, as the Terps’ defense continued to stifle the Blue Devils.

“Once everyone’s on the same page and working together for the same goal…that’ when it all comes together,” May said.

With the running clock already in place, Maryland was in no rush offensively. An Ahearn score extended Maryland’s run to 10-0 since early in the second quarter.

It wasn’t until the final two minutes of the third quarter when Anna Callahan ended the 24-minute Blue Devil drought.

With the Blue Devils already done for, Maryland continued to have its way through the game’s final quarter.

Ahearn finished with nine wins on the draw control and Maryland finished with a 18-10 advantage.

“[Ahearn] did a tremendous job on the draw,” Reese said.  “ [Duke’s] Maddie Jenner is one of the best in the game at that, and [Ahearn] showed what she’s able to do.”