After a thrilling 13-12 overtime victory over No. 3 North Carolina on Sunday, the Terps (3-0) will travel to Baltimore to take on the Retrievers (2-1) on Wednesday. The final 15 minutes of regulation and overtime when Maryland trailed 12-11 was some of the best lacrosse they have played on both ends of the field. With only two days to prepare, Maryland will quickly turn its attention to UMBC.
“Right now we need to take a deep breath and refocus, it’s our first real two games in a week scenario with one of them being on the road,” head coach Cathy Reese said. “We want to make sure that we just can continue to keep our level of consistency.”
Coming off a huge win, consistency will be important for the Terps, especially with only one day of practice to prepare for UMBC. In addition to building consistency, avoiding complacency is something the Maryland coaching staff preaches to its players.
“When you go from beating Florida and then a Carolina who are two top five opponents to playing somebody not ranked, they’re hungry UMBC is a talented team too,” Reese said. “We need to focus on ourselves, playing our level of play and making sure we aren’t taking anything for granted.”
Against UMBC, senior midfielder Jen Giles will look to continue her strong start to the season, as she is currently leading the team both in goals and assists. Giles is coming off a five point first half against UNC, but did not a register a point in the second half and overtime. Leading the team in both categories and one of the team captains, Giles does not feel any additional pressure to always put the ball in the net.
“It’s not something I really even think about with our team, with everyone supporting each other and working for each other,” Giles said. “If it’s me scoring that’s cool, but it’s just as cool if Kali or anyone scores.”
In the second half against North Carolina, senior attacker Caroline Steele injured her knee, but returned soon after just in the nick of time to score the game winning goal for Maryland. Postgame, Steele assured the media that her knee was perfectly fine and echoed the same message in practice yesterday.
After scoring the game winning goal, Steele and her teammates were overjoyed, and will look to carry their positive energy and play a full 60 minutes against UMBC. Despite scoring 13 goals against North Carolina, Steele believes the team’s offense can still improve.
“[The morale] is high that’s for sure, you can’t be low after that one” Steele said. “I think sometimes our offense gets a little stagnant, so I think offensively just relaxing and always playing our game, because we’re capable of it all.”
All of UMBC’s players are from Maryland, presenting another familiar opponent for Maryland, where a lot of players faced off against each other growing up.
“We have a lot of UMBC kids that work our camps, UMBC we’re really good friends with their coaching staff,” Reese said.
First draw is scheduled for 5:00 p.m on Wednesday from UMBC stadium.
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