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Griffin’s goal-filled day leads Terps
Maryland junior ties ACC Championship record with seven scores in semifinal win over UVa.
CHESTNUT HILL, Massachusetts (theACC.com) – Brooke Griffin played her way into the record book and carried Maryland to the title game of the Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Lacrosse Championship.
Griffin tied a tournament record with seven goals as the top-seeded Terrapins downed Virginia by a 15-9 score in Friday’s semifinal match at Alumni Stadium. The Edgewater, Md., junior’s nine overall points fell one shy of another ACC Championship mark.
“We were in an attacking mode,” Griffin said. “We knew Virginia was going to be good, so we came out strong. We knew the draw was going to be huge for us, so we won those draws and found the right opportunities down the field.”
Maryland (18-1) advanced to Sunday’s 1 p.m. title game, where it will face the winner of Friday’s second semifinal match between second-seeded Syracuse and third-seeded North Carolina. The Terps will be seeking the sixth straight ACC Championship title. Virginia (10-8), with wins over a number of quality opponents this season, remains hopeful of an at-large NCAA Tournament berth.
Just as it did in Thursday’s quarterfinal win over Virginia Tech, Maryland charged out to an electrifying start on Friday. By the 27:27 mark of the opening half, Griffin already had a hat trick and the Terps owned a 3-0 lead.
Over the next eight minutes, Kelly McPartland added two more goals and Halle Majorana added another to make it 6-0. Then Griffin scored again off a Majorana assist to give the Terrapins a 7-0 cushion with 17:32 remaining in the first half.
Maryland went on to lead 8-2 at halftime, when Griffin already had five of her seven goals. The Cavaliers never pulled closer than five goals at any point in the final 30 minutes.
McPartland also put up big offensive numbers for the Terps, finishing with four goals and five total points. Liza Blue was impressive for Virginia with five goals, four of which came in the second half.
“It was a great game for Maryland today, I have to give them a lot of credit,” Virginia coach Julie Myers said. “Their key players played great and they made it really hard for us to win draws and make stops and be able to score goals at the other end. I think our girls fought straight through the entire game so I’m really proud of them.
“I’m disappointed with the loss here, but an amazing amount of respect goes to Maryland. They came ready to win and they did a great job.”
Maryland held a 32-26 edge in shots taken in the fast-moving match and led in draw controls, 16-10.
“I am really proud of the way we played today,” Maryland coach Cathy Reese said. “Our team played very well defensively, we worked together, we came up with some great stops and offensively I thought we were very selfless. We were working for each other to find openings and we shot well against a really good goalie so all-in-all it was a good day for us and gives us some good groundwork moving forward.”
Griffin’s seven goals tied the tournament record first set by Maryland’s Jen Adams vs. North Carolina in the 1999 semifinals and matched by Virginia’s Tyler Leachman versus UNC in the 2006 semifinal round.
Friday’s second semifinal game and Sunday’s title game and will both be carried by the ACC’s Regional Sports Network (RSN) with Mike Hogewood handling the play-by-play and Leah Secondo working as sideline analyst.