No. 1 Terrapins remain undefeated, claim inaugural Big Ten season title
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Top-ranked Maryland earned the inaugural Big Ten Championship with a 13-10 win against No. 8 Penn State on Thursday evening.
The Terps closed the 2015 regular season with a 17-0 record and a 5-0 mark in Big Ten play. Maryland claimed the regular season title in the first year of Big Ten lacrosse and the Terrapins’ first year in the conference.
“I thought Penn State fought really hard,” head coach Cathy Reese said. “I give them a lot of credit. It was a game of runs, for sure. We found a way to pull it out, so I’m really proud of our team’s effort. It’s all new territory for us. It’s our first season in the Big Ten, so I’m proud of how hard our team has worked to get to this point.”
Taylor Cummings led the team across the field with four goals, four ground balls, 10 draw controls and four caused turnovers. Kristen Lamon and Zoe Stukenberg each tallied hat tricks while Nadine Hadnagy caused four turnovers.
Cummings started the Terps off with an early lead as she won the first two draw controls and scored twice within the first 46 seconds of the game. Lamon and Stukenberg each scored twice as Maryland took a 6-0 lead in the first 10 minutes of the game.
After a Nittany Lion goal at 18:58, Lamon responded less than a minute later to complete her hat trick. After two more Penn State goals, Whittle notched one on a free-position shot with five minutes left in the half. The Terps took an 8-3 lead into halftime.
The Nittany Lions came out strong in the second half as they rattled off four unanswered goals in the first 10 minutes to cut Maryland’s lead to one goal. Cummings scored twice within a minute and Kelly McPartland added an 8-meter goal as the Terps gained some breaking space back.
Maryland and Penn State traded goals and opportunities for the remainder of the game. Stukenberg and Taylor Hensh each scored, and the Terps took the 13-10 win.
Goalkeeper Alex Fitzpatrick made six saves and picked up two ground balls in the win.
The Terps held advantages in shots (34-20) and draw controls (16-9). Maryland went 4-for-9 on free-position shots while holding the Nittany Lions to 0-for-4.
Maryland is currently on a 27-game win streak dating back to April 5, 2014. This is the Terps’ third consecutive regular season conference title.