COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Sophomore attacker Caroline Steele scored four goals and was named tournament MVP as the No. 1 Maryland women's lacrosse team (19-0) defeated No. 15 Northwestern (10-9) 14-6 to win the Big Ten championship Sunday afternoon.
“I'm so proud of this team and how they played today,” Terrapins coach Cathy Reese said. “They fought hard and played well on both ends of the field for the entire game. It's great that we were able to win the Big Ten title, and we look forward to starting NCAAs next weekend.”
Steele had nine goals and 10 points in two tournament games. In addition to Steele, senior midfielder Zoe Stukenberg, senior defender Nadine Hadnagy, junior attacker Megan Whittleand sophomore goalie Megan Taylor were named to the all-tournament team.
Stukenberg and freshman attacker Kali Hartshorn had hat tricks and one assist against the Wildcats. Sophomore midfielder Jen Giles had four points (one goal, three assists) while Whittle (one goal, two assists) and senior attacker Caroline Wannen (three assists) also had multiple points.
Taylor finished the game with 16 saves and a .727 save percentage.
The Terps started the game up 4-0 with goals from Steele, Brindi Griffin, Taylor Hensh and Hartshorn. Stukenberg and Hartshorn scored later in the half, but a 3-1 run from the Wildcats put them within two at halftime 6-4. Taylor notched 10 saves in the first half.
Maryland rattled off five straight goals to start the second half, including three from Steele and a Whittle score after sprinting in from midfield to cage. The Terps allowed just two Wildcat goals in the second period. Stukenberg, Hartshorn and Giles notched the final goals as Maryland won 14-6.
Hartshorn and Stukenberg each had five draw controls as Maryland held a 12-10 advantage in the category. In the team's regular-season meeting with Northwestern, the Wildcats outdrew the Terps 19-10.
The Terps will find out their seeding for the NCAA tournament during the Selection Show Sunday night at 9 p.m.