Entering today Maryland (17-0, 7-0 B1G) had never lost to Johns Hopkins before and that continued today with an offensive onslaught from the Terrapins. Erica Evans led Maryland with a season-high six goals, with five different players registering at least a hat-trick.
“Erica has been such a cool player and such a good addition to our team, watching her gain confidence as the season goes on,” head coach Cathy Reese said. “She dodged hard, she shot well, she’s a stud and she really came out and did a great job today.”
For the third consecutive game, Evans scored four goals or more-a key in propelling Maryland to the 19-12 victory.
“My confidence is building, getting used to everyone around me and everyone is also getting used to me as well,” Evans said. “Everybody is creating lanes for each other and it’s making my job and everyone else’s job easier.”
It was a physical game throughout, with both teams not allowing any easy opportunities for each other. Maryland knew Johns Hopkins would come out fighting and that’s exactly what they did, jumping out to an early 1-0 lead. Sophomore attacker Aurora Cordingley scored one of her four first-half goals, dodging from behind the cage to beat Megan Taylor.
“We were getting a little bit frustrated, you could tell early on,” Reese said.
After conceding the opening goal, Maryland bounced back in a big way scoring five goals in four minutes. Senior Jen Giles found a cutting Erica Evans across the crease and Evans finished her first of three first-half goals. Evans continued her success shortly after, showcasing her strength by bulldozing through the Hopkins defense not allowing anyone to slow her down.
“Every game getting that first goal gets the chip off of your shoulder and it just makes it easier as the game goes on,” Evans said.
Giles continued to show her ability to find her teammates, feeding Caroline Steele for the cross-field finish. Scoring two goals, Evans returned the favor feeding Brindi Griffin who finished the in-tight shot past senior goalie Haley Crosson. Showing her knack for facilitating earlier, Giles showcased her elite speed and footwork dodging around several defenders for the nifty finish extending the Terps lead to 5-1.
When Maryland seemed to start building momentum, Hopkins started to get momentum right back scoring consecutive goals cutting the Terps lead to 5-3. Senior attacker Miranda Ibello scored her first of three goals on the day, followed by Cordingley bringing the Blue Jays some more confidence on offense. Giles and Griffin halted the brief Hopkins rally, scoring consecutive goals both demonstrating each player’s elite dodging ability and precision shooting. Both Cordingley and Evans completed their first half hat-tricks before the half, with Maryland leading 8-5 at the break.
At halftime, offensive aggressiveness was something head coach Cathy Reese preached heavily and the team executed it well in the second half. After two free position opportunities in the first half, Maryland took 11 in the second half, converting on six of them. Midfielder Ellie McNulty scored her first goal of the game for Johns Hopkins cutting the Maryland to 8-6 with 28:32 remaining. McNulty’s goal cut the Maryland lead to two for the first time since early in the first half when Maryland lead 5-3.
“In the second half we made some adjustments, we moved the ball a lot quicker on offense,” head coach Cathy Reese said.
Similar to the first half, just when it seemed Hopkins was beginning to build momentum, the Terps executed a run of their own. The Terps scored four consecutive goals extending the lead from two to six. During the four-goal run, two were scored on free position opportunities as a result of Maryland’s aggressiveness on offense. McNulty scored her second goal of the game cutting the Maryland lead to five, however, five was the closest the Blue Jays would come the remainder of the game.
Going back and forth, Maryland put the game out of reach with three consecutive goals with less than 10 minutes remaining extending the lead to a game high 19-10. Similar to the earlier run, two of the three goals were scored on free position opportunities. Kali Hartshorn scored two of her four goals during the run, as well as Steele, two of the most potent free position threats on the Terps roster.
“We definitely wanted to focus on free position shots this game, we definitely want to convert on more of those if we can next game,” junior Kali Hartshorn said.
Next Maryland will travel to Baltimore where they will take on Penn State in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament as the No. 1 overall seed on Friday.
“We need to enjoy this moment, celebrate, move on and let’s get ready for Friday when we play Penn State,” Reese said.
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