Maryland beats Northwestern 13-11 to win title

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TOWSON, Md. (AP) — Northwestern’s lacrosse dynasty is over, courtesy of a stunning comeback by Maryland.

Maryland won its 10th NCAA women’s lacrosse title Sunday, rallying from a six-goal deficit to defeat the five-time defending champions 13-11.

The Terrapins (22-1) earned their first title since 2001 and preserved their record of seven straight titles, set from 1995-2001. Maryland also ended Northwestern’s run of 23 consecutive tournament wins,

The game was played before 9,782 fans, the largest crowd to watch a women’s lacrosse event in United States history. The previous record was 8,762, for the semifinal round Friday night.

Down 6-0 with 8½ minutes gone and 8-3 midway through the first half, Maryland pulled even at halftime and took its first lead when Caitlyn McFadden scored from the free position early in the second half to make it 9-8.

After going more than 27½ minutes without scoring a goal, Northwestern (20-2) got two in a row to pull into at 10 with 12:03 remaining.

Brandi Jones put the Terrapins back in front with 9:51 left, scoring in front off a fine pass from McFadden.

Shortly after Northwestern’s Danielle Spencer had the potential tying goal wiped out because of a crease violation, McFadden made it 12-10. Spencer scored with 2:57 left, but Karri Ellen Johnson clinched it for the Terps with 2:03 to go.

The Terrapins were able to come back because they tightened up their defense in front of the goal to prevent Northwestern’s repeated rushes to the net. Maryland also started winning more draws, and goaltender Brittany Dipper began to assert herself in the net.

Dipper, who didn’t stop a shot until the Wildcats scored their eighth goal, finished with seven saves.

Northwestern raced to a 4-0 lead with just under eight minutes gone. Then, after Maryland had a goal waved off because of a rule violation, Erin Fitzgerald and Shannon Smith each scored their second goals of the game to make it 6-0.

Katie Schwarzman broke the drought for the Terrapins with 18:49 left in the half, and Maryland quickly added two more. But Amanda Macaluso and Taylor Thornton answered for the Wildcats, scoring from a free position for an 8-3 lead.

Maryland then ticked off five straight goals, two by Schwarzman, to tie it.

Sarah Mollison had three goals and an assist for the Terrapins, who closed the season with 10 straight wins.