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No. 23 Rutgers women's lacrosse struggles in Big Ten Tournament defeat to No. 10 Maryland

Senior attacker Jenna Byrne's three assists were not enough for the Rutgers women's lacrosse team to defeat Maryland in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament. – Photo by null

The Rutgers women's lacrosse team fell to Maryland yesterday in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament by a score of 15-9. The Scarlet Knights (8-9, 1-5) struggled on defense, conceding 10 goals in the first half against the Terrapins (14-5, 4-2).

No. 10 Maryland would dominate the first quarter. Hannah Leubecker scored the 1st goal of the match after approximately 1 minute of play. Shannon Smith would extend the Terrapins' early lead with 2 goals. Libby May found the back of the cage to establish a 4-goal lead for Maryland with 6:58 remaining in the opening quarter.

The Terrapins would score 2 more goals to take a 6-0 lead heading into the second quarter. No. 23 Rutgers was shutout in the opening quarter and only attempted three shots on goal.

Eloise Clevenger scored the 1st goal of the second quarter for Maryland, securing her hat trick after 38 seconds of play. Clevenger netted the Terrapins' 8th goal of the contest approximately 5 minutes later.

Graduate student attacker Marin Hartshorn scored the Knights' 1st goal of the match to end Maryland's dominant 8-goal run with 3:36 remaining before halftime. The Terrapins scored 2 goals in the final 15 seconds of the second quarter, resulting in a score of 10-1 heading into halftime. After two quarters of play, Maryland was in complete control of the game.

Hartshorn scored the 1st goal of the third quarter for Rutgers after 57 seconds of play. Senior midfielder Cassidy Spilis continued the scoring run as she found the back of the cage to cut the deficit to 7 goals. The Terrapins would respond with a goal from Chrissy Thomas to reestablish their 8-goal lead. Hartshorn secured her hat trick with 3:31 remaining, but shortly after, Kate Sites responded with a goal of her own. Going into the fourth quarter, the Knights trailed by a score of 12-4.

Shaylan Ahearn opened the final quarter with a goal to extend Maryland's lead to 9 goals. Rutgers quickly responded as junior midfielder Ashley Moynahan scored the Knights' 5th goal of the contest. Both teams would then trade back-to-back goals. Freshman attacker Ava Kane netted 2 quick goals in the final 3 minutes, but it was ultimately too late for Rutgers.

Hartshorn led the Knights with 4 goals and an assist. Senior attacker Jenna Byrne dished out three assists, and Kane netted a hat trick.

Between the pipes, junior goalkeeper Sophia Cardello saved 10 shots.

On the other side of the ball, Thomas provided a team-leading six assists for the Terrapins. Clevenger scored 4 goals. Maryland had eight different goal scorers in the contest and is now set to face off against No. 1 seed Northwestern in the Big Ten Tournament championship this weekend.

Rutgers will now wait to see if it is selected to play in the NCAA Tournament for a third consecutive season. The NCAA Tournament Selection Show is set for May 7.

For more updates on the Rutgers women's lacrosse team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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