The Maryland women’s lacrosse team found itself battling not only No. 6 Northwestern on Thursday, but the weather as well.
After a 45-minute lightning delay with the game knotted at 12, the game was forced inside to the Wildcats’ practice facility. When the game was outside, attacker Jen Giles struggled to create against the Northwestern defense. Being face guarded all night, Giles was forced to adapt.
After the restart, Giles led the Terps to a dominant final stretch in which they outscored the Wildcats 5-1 en route to a 17-13 win.
Thanks to three goals in fifty seconds, the Wildcats were able to keep the Terps on their heels for much of the first half.
A balanced attack led by attacker Selena Lasota and a stout defensive effort led by goalkeeper Mallory Weisse proved to be a formidable match throughout for Maryland (15-0, 5-0 Big Ten).
But facing their biggest deficit of the season, the Terps never wavered.
Attackers Kali Hartshorn and Brindi Griffin used highlight-reel goals to trim the deficit to one, but Weisse continued to stand tall and not give up the lead.
Midfielder Erica Evans sparked the comeback with a well-placed shot to cut the lead to 7-5 with five minutes before halftime. That was soon followed by midfielder Grace Griffin, who used a well-timed fake to create enough space to cut the lead to one.
Evans capped off the run and tied the game with a point-blank shot after a perfect pass from Hartshorn.
The second half started similarly to the first, with Northwestern scoring the opening goal. But Maryland didn’t let the Wildcats (9-4, 3-1) momentum last.
Giles finally found the back of the net and just 54 seconds later, attacker Caroline Steele gave the Terps their first lead with one of her four second-half strikes.
Much like Maryland, Northwestern refused to acquiesce, and the two blue bloods continued to trade goals as the rain and wind picked up. Evans and Steele buoyed the Terps in the second half but they were matched by the tandem of Lasota and midfielder Izzy Scane.
After the weather delay with the score tied at 12, Maryland finally took control.
Giles gave the Terps another lead, 13-12, with 10:54 remaining in the game, and Steele’s fifth goal of the game opened up the contest, as early parts of a 6-1 run.
Minutes later, Brindi Griffin added another and Northwestern couldn’t recover. A Lasota goal brought the Wildcats back within one, but goals by Evans and Hartshorn sealed the win for Maryland.