After 10 days of rest, No. 2 Maryland (16-0, 6-0 B1G) will host Johns Hopkins on Saturday in what should be an exciting day of rivalry filled lacrosse in College Park.
The Terps defeated the Blue Jays twice last season and have not lost to Johns Hopkins since joining the Big Ten conference in 2015. With a win against Johns Hopkins, Maryland will clinch the Big Ten regular season title for the fifth consecutive season.
Maryland’s last game came against No. 24 Georgetown and was a tale of two halves. The Terps struggled in the first half, but dominated in the second half. Scoring 13 goals in the second half, the Terps attackers were firing on all cylinders with senior midfielder Jen Giles leading the way once again.
The Terps will look to play a complete 60 minutes against the Blue Jays on Saturday and bringing consistent energy will play a vital part in that. The senior midfielder duo of Giles and Meghan Siverson, know the importance of coming out energized in front of a big crowd in this rivalry game.
“We’re going to have huge crowds because it will be Maryland day, so really just picking up the energy from the start [will be key],” Siverson said. “We didn’t have a great energy coming out [against Georgetown], I think that’s key for us,” Giles said.
10 days between games is one of the longest stretches Maryland has had this season, giving the team plenty of time to fix mistakes from previous games. Coming off back-to-back come from behind victories, the Terps are welcoming the additional rest.
“I’m thankful for a little break, a lot of us are happy to have that time where we’re just practicing and able to work on the fundamentals,” Giles said.
Heading down the stretch of the season, the Terps will continue to rely on their senior leaders with each game more and more impactful. After the regular season finale, Maryland will head right into the Big Ten Tournament followed by the NCAA Tournament where the Terps are projected to be the No. 1 overall seed.
“[The seniors] have been crucial to our success thus far in games, the senior class has been the group that’s led the way and stepped up,” head coach Cathy Reese said. “As we head into the postseason, beginning with the last game of the regular season we’re going to kind of ride on their shoulders.”
While the Terps will focus on playing Maryland lacrosse, they will be facing off against a high-octane Blue Jay offense. Three different players have scored at least 30 goals for Johns Hopkins led by junior attacker Maggie Schneidereith who has 46 goals and also 26 assists. Maryland will stick to the same defensive philosophy that has brought them success thus far this season.
“We have to make some good stops defensively, have good one-on-one defense with our low defenders,” Reese said. “Our defense will start our offense, so if we can lock some of their big guns down and play together well as a team that will give our offense some more opportunities.”
With first draw scheduled for 4:30 p.m Saturday from Maryland Stadium, the Terps will look to start off the rivalry filled day with a win clinching the Big Ten regular season title.
“This is a game for us that is exciting, it’s a chance for us to not only get better, but win a Big Ten Championship here,” Reese said.
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