March 6, 2009

Courtesy of Maryland

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Sophomore Sarah Mollison netted a career-high six goals as the third-ranked Maryland women's lacrosse team upended No. 2 Virginia, 17-11, on the road Friday night at Klockner Stadium.

Maryland (4-0, 2-0 ACC) landed on the scoreboard first courtesy of Mollison's short-range goal from the near side with about three minutes elapsed. Julie Gardner gave Virginia its' first score before Kaitlin Duff gathered the ensuing draw control and drove it all the way to the cage for a 2-1 Cavaliers' lead.

The Terps countered with a 3-0 run with goals coming from Brandi Jones, Karri Ellen Johnson and Mollison to push the score to 4-2 in favor of Maryland. After a yellow card was issued to Jones, Virginia capitalized on an 8-meter attempt as Jenny Hauser cut the Maryland lead to one.

Johnson dished the ball across the lane to a driving Caitlyn McFadden for Maryland's next score before Blair Weymouth's low shot went just past a diving Brittany Dipper in the Terrapin cage for 5-4 score. Johnson's goal from McFadden sparked a 4-0 Maryland run at the 4:29 mark. Jones' unassisted score from the left side was followed by a pair of goals from Mollison to give Maryland its biggest lead of the game, 9-4.

Virginia (4-1, 1-1 ACC) battled back to end the half as Brittany Kalkstein netted a free position attempt with 30 seconds remaining and, following a yellow card to Karissa Taylor, Hauser scored on her 8-meter attempt with no time remaining to put the score at 9-6 heading into the half.

The Cavaliers responded with another goal to start the second half after Weymouth tallied the third consecutive free position goal for Virginia. McFadden finally stopped the drive at 24:15 with a low shot from the center to give Maryland a three-goal cushion. Following a goal from Virginia, Johnson went to work, causing a turnover, securing the ground ball and nailing a free position shot to move the score to 11-8 at 20:43. The Cavaliers' Duff tapped in a close-range goal approximately three minutes later to cut Maryland's lead to two again before the Terps battled back when Amanda Spinnenweber scored her first goal of the contest off a Mollison assist from behind the cage for a 12-9 score.

After another Virginia free position goal, Johnson continued to wreak havoc on the Cavaliers, making a nice cut up the middle and scoring off an assist from Jones with 14:16 remaining in the period. Jones made a nice move and found the back of the net as Maryland stepped up its offensive pressure following a yellow card on Virginia.

With the score 14-10, Virginia's Hauser tallied her fifth goal of the game when she backed her way into a score with a little under five minutes remaining. Brittany Jones put icing on the cake with a goal with 1:15 remaining after Maryland possessed the ball for nearly three critical minutes as Johnson sat out with a yellow card. Laura Merrifield found her way onto the stat sheet after wrangling in the draw control and working on a fast break to assist Mollison on her fifth goal of the game. Mollison scored once more, this one from Taylor, to give Maryland the 17-11 crucial ACC victory.

The win is the second for Maryland against an opponent ranked second in country as the Terps topped then-No. 2 Duke last Saturday. Friday's victory also avenged a 10-9 loss to Cavaliers in last season's ACC title game.

For the fourth straight game, a different player led the Terps in scoring as Mollison led the way with six goals. Johnson added four goals and a game-high seven draw controls. Maryland outshot Virginia, 28-20, and secured three more draw controls than UVA.

Maryland returns to action Wednesday when it challenges its third ranked opponent in as many tries with a battle against Georgetown in Washington D.C. at 3:45 p.m.