Saturday was a meaningful day for the No. 2 Maryland women’s lacrosse team (14-0, 4-0 B1G), honoring 10 seniors who have grown closer since joining the team and mean so much to the entire roster. Several of the seniors have been a mainstay in the Terps lineup ever since arriving in College Park four years ago.
“We have such a fantastic group of seniors,” head coach Cathy Reese said. “It’s a lot of emotion, the team really celebrated them pregame.”
Eight of the ten seniors play frequently. However, exemplifying class as usual, Reese started all ten against the Wolverines. Building a large lead, Reese was able to play all ten to close out the game exactly the way it started in a special moment.
“To be able to have that moment was unbelievable,” senior goalie Megan Taylor said. “I have a smile on my face just thinking about it. You come in and you don’t know these people at all and then four years later, it’s the best four years of your life and they’re your best friends.”
Senior midfielder Katherine Golladay checked in once again with a little over a minute remaining and every single time the ball was in her stick, her teammates were jumping up and down on the bench providing encouragement. While Golladay did not score a goal during this time, the love and energy the Terps exhibited from the sideline was palpable throughout the stadium.
All ten of those seniors have been vital to Maryland’s success this season, providing a veteran leadership presence both during games and in practice. Veteran leadership has been a key theme throughout the season for Maryland and has come up huge in big moments when trailing – like in both the Syracuse and North Carolina games.
“We have such an amazing senior class,” senior defender Julia Braig said. “We’re all so fortunate to be together. I think in practice all the seniors is making such a big difference and making everyone better, so to have them on the field in the end was such an amazing feeling.”
While Maryland had its senior day on Saturday, the Terps have three more games remaining in the regular season, including one more home game on April 27 against Johns Hopkins. In addition, Maryland will presumably host a first-round NCAA tournament game at Maryland Stadium as well, giving the seniors an opportunity to play on their home field a few more times.
“The regular season is kind of winding down, so it is something that can kind of hit you emotionally,” Reese said. “I do think it’s important to celebrate, I’ve got 10 phenomenal women to celebrate.”
Maryland will now travel to Evanston to take on No. 6 Northwestern, a storied rivalry between the two programs and an opportunity for the Terps to face their 10th ranked opponent of the season. In another tough matchup, the Terps will continue to rely on their senior leadership from all over the field.
“Luckily for us we still plan on playing a lot more lacrosse in the next couple of weeks,” Braig said. “Nothing but exciting and happy, we’re gonna keep working hard because we are so far from done yet.”
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