Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics.

No. 2 Maryland opens 2019 campaign hosting George Mason

After losing in the 2018 semifinals, head coach Cathy Reese, in her 12th season, will look to lead Maryland back to a national championship, despite hosting games in a different venue. For the first time, the women’s lacrosse team will also be playing its home games at Maryland Stadium: including four double headers with the men’s team.

Experience will be the key for Maryland this season, with 20 upperclassmen on the roster, including several at each position. Since entering the Big Ten in 2015, the Terps have not lost a regular season conference game, winning the previous three conference titles.

No. 2 Maryland was unanimously picked to the win the conference, led by the senior trio of defender Julia Braig, midfielder Jen Giles and goalie Megan Taylor. Braig was an All-American last season, while all three were named All-Conference players last season. With several years of playing experience, all three were voted captains to lead a veteran laiden roster which also includes a new graduate transfer from Canisius in midfielder Erica Evans.

After losing Megan Whittle to graduation, Giles will spearhead the Maryland offense. She finished with 83 points last season, complemented by fellow attacker senior Caroline Steele who finished with 79 points. Both Steele and Giles have extensive conference experience and will be able to mentor young attackers like freshman Julia Hoffman.

At the midfield, Maryland returns sophomore Grace Griffin, who won the 2018 Big Ten Freshman of The Year with a 30 goal freshman campaign. Junior Meghan Siverson scored 21 goals last season as well, but both will need to contribute on defense as well, a point of emphasis for coach Reese heading into this season.

The Maryland defense will be anchored by Braig, the 2018 Big Ten Defender of the Year and a three-year starter. Braig will not be the only veteran on the backend, accompanied by Meghan Doherty and Lizzie Colson who played alongside her last season. All three know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, which will be pivotal right away with Maryland facing off against two top seven teams in their first three games.

Rounding out the Maryland starters, Taylor was the 2018 Big Ten Goalie of the Year, providing further experience for Maryland on the backline. Taylor’s leadership and communication with her defense and two way midfielders will be integral for Maryland throughout this season.

Maryland will look to begin its 2019 campaign strong, hosting George Mason, with faceoff scheduled for 3:00 p.m at Maryland Stadium.