Aurora Cordingley probed Penn State’s defense and found her time to strike.
The attacker juked past her defender before gliding to the net and finishing through contact while falling to the ground, notching her fifth goal of the game to make sure it was out of reach for the Nittany Lions.
Another stellar performance from Cordingley and a career day for goalkeeper Emily Sterling propelled Maryland women’s lacrosse to a 13-6 win over Penn State.
“We came out strong and then fought our way through the entire game,” coach Cathy Reese said. “I thought we executed our game plan really well, defensively we did a really nice job against their attackers.”
The win was the Terps’ lowest scoring victory of the year and marked their third straight since their lone loss to James Madison.
Eloise Clevenger opened the scoring for Reese’s squad before Taylor Regan immediately responded for the Nittany Lions.
Kate Sites drove to the goal and scored, and Cordingley wrapped around from behind the net and slotted a shot past Penn State goalkeeper Ashley Bowan to double the Terps’ lead.
[With Penn State matchup ahead, Maryland women’s lacrosse is sticking to the script]
Victoria Hensh put a free-position shot into the top corner before Regan notched her second goal to end the first quarter.
Maryland quickly took advantage of two woman-up opportunities to start the second quarter. Clevenger faked a high shot before going low and beating Bowan just 48 seconds into the quarter.
Two minutes later, Libby May found a cutting Jordan Lipkin at the face of the net, whose simple finish made it 6-2 to the Terps.
The goal was emblematic of Maryland’s offense throughout the game, as the Terps were able to consistently get looks from close range.
“Our offense did a great job of moving the ball and keeping our heads up and when we find that cutter in the middle, trying to hit them and capitalize off of that,” Clevenger said.
Meghan Murray quickly responded for Penn State, but a free-position strike from Grace Griffin restored Maryland’s four-goal lead.
The Terps’ defense forced a litany of Nittany Lion turnovers in the first half — and they took advantage. After a forced turnover from Brianna Lamoureux, Cordingley received the ball with some space before juking and finding the back of the net from a tight angle.
Maryland took an 8-4 advantage into halftime, and Cordingley wasted no time grabbing her hat trick when play resumed, firing a bouncing shot past Bowan.
A nine-minute scoring drought from both teams was ended with just over three minutes left in the third quarter, when Gretchen Gilmore ripped a shot past Sterling.
[Maryland women’s lacrosse displayed its dominance in 750th program win]
Penn State and Maryland were only able to muster a goal each in the third quarter, thanks to solid goalkeeping play from Bowan and Sterling.
Both goalkeepers earned their career highs in saves, with each amassing 13 stops throughout the game.
Maryland’s defense also impressed, forcing 16 turnovers — the most Penn State has turned the ball over all season — and successfully clearing on all 19 opportunities.
“I thought our timing was really good defensively,” Reese said. “And that in turn put their shooters in positions for Emily to make saves and she did that in the end. Overall, I thought we had some really nice defensive sequences.”
Cordingley extended the Terps’ lead to 12-5 in the fourth quarter, adding her fourth goal of the game in transition before firing home her fifth just minutes later.
Despite May and Hannah Leubecker both failing to score in a game for the first time this season, Cordingley shined with another outstanding performance, notching her fifth game of the season with five or more goals.
It was another stellar performance from Cordingley, her fifth game of the season with five or more goals.
Brooke Hoss was able to get on the board for the second time on a free-position strike, but Penn State’s lone score of the fourth quarter — and just its second of the half — wasn’t enough, as Hensh tallied her second goal of the game and Maryland ran away victors, 13-6.
The Terps’ defense was able to hold their opponent to six goals or less for the sixth time this season, allowing hat tricks from Cordingley and Clevenger to maintain Maryland’s undefeated status in Big Ten play.
“We did a really good job of executing and we stuck to our game plan and we trusted each other,” Sterling said. “When we trust each other those turnovers like to present themselves to our team, which is just awesome.”