BALTIMORE — This was not the same Maryland women’s lacrosse team from nearly three weeks ago.
The Terrapins had lost in the Big Ten championship game to Northwestern, representing the only blemish on their otherwise perfect record. Friday night’s result was far different.
Top-seeded Maryland led by four at halftime but turned the game into a blowout in the second half, defeating Northwestern, 25-13, in front of 8,508 at Johns Hopkins’ Homewood Field in an NCAA semifinal. The Terrapins (21-1) play No. 2 Boston College on Sunday at noon in the title game.
Brindi Griffin (six goals) extended Maryland’s lead to 13-8 with 28:12 left in the game, but No. 4 Northwestern (16-5) ripped off three straight and cut the Terps’ lead to 13-11.
But that was as close as Northwestern could get. Maryland’s dodgers proved too much for the Wildcats’ defenders to contain, as the Terps scored 12 of the next 14 goals, taking a 25-13 lead on Catie May’s goal with 3:57 remaining as the running clock ticked on.
“I think it was everybody out there making plays for each other,” Griffin said.
“I don’t think tonight was our night,” Northwestern coach Kelly Amonte Hiller said. “Obviously, Maryland played tremendous.”
Part of the dominance came as Kali Hartshorn and those on the circle imposed their will on the draw. After each successive goal, Hartshorn seemed to win possession back for the Terps to increase the lead.
“We shot well tonight. We defended well tonight,” Maryland coach Cathy Reese said. “Overall, it was a great night for the Terps.”
Caroline Steele, Grace Griffin and May scored during an opening 3-0 run for Maryland, but Northwestern scored four of the next five goals — three by Izzy Scane — tying the score at 4.
Maryland then flipped the script, scoring seven of the next nine. That spurt was highlighted by senior defender Julia Braig, who celebrated emphatically after she scored the first goal of her career with 13:07 left in the half.
She caused a turnover on an attempted clear and faced a 1-on-1 with goalkeeper Mallory Weisse. Braig’s long skip-shot found the twine for an 8-5 lead.
“I think it really fueled our fire," Braig said of the Big Ten championship loss to Northwestersn, "and it made us reevaluate ourselves as a team.”