Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

No. 3 Maryland women’s lacrosse holds off Penn, 15-11

With Maryland struggling offensively the entire second half, the Quakers still had a sense of life with under eight minutes to go. 

Desperately needing a goal, the Terps didn’t turn to one of its upperclassman leaders. Instead, they turned to freshman Jordyn Lipkin.

The reigning Big Ten Freshman and Midfielder of The Week came up huge for her squad, scoring two goals in under three minutes, cementing the win and sending Penn on a rainy bus-ride home with a loss..

“We’re just trying to play Maryland offense,” Lipkin said. “Shannon [Smith] had a few girls on her and I ended up being pretty wide open, so it gave me a pretty clear path to goal.”

In a down-pour in College Park, Maryland was nowhere near perfect, but the Terps’ made enough plays throughout, knocking off Penn, 15-11.

The turf was slick, but it didn’t slow Maryland, as they got off to another quick start.

Eloise Clevenger scored the first of the day on a broken play. As Libby May maneuvered toward the goal, she lost her footing, and the ball came loose. The groundball came right to Clevenger, who finished with ease.

Goals by Aurora Cordingley and Shannon Smith extended Maryland’s lead to 3-0. Lexi Edmonds ended Maryland’s run, scoring after a pass inside by Aly Feeley.

Maryland responded with a 4-0 run, making it 7-1 at the end of the first quarter. Clevenger and Leubecker each notched multiple goals during the first quarter.

Maryland’s offense was stellar through one, but the Terps’ goalkeeper was the star of the quarter. Reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of The Week Emily Sterling made four saves in the first quarter. The Quakers put up tough shots, but Sterling made several difficult saves.

“I love having her as our goalie,” Abby Bosco said. “She’s been coming up with awesome saves and it shifts the momentum for us.”

Maryland’s hot start was quickly chilled by a resurgence of energy by the Quakers.

After trading goals to start the second, Penn began to shoot the ball efficiently, and started to go on a run. Maryland’s offense had quieted in a big way, and Penn used a 4-1 run to get right back in the game.

Maryland had seven goals in the first ten minutes of the game. Since then, the Terps were only able to muster up one goal.

“We started off really strong and then you know, kind of took our foot off the gas a little bit,” head coach Cathy Reese said.

Additionally, Maryland was struggling on the draw control for the third game in a row. The Quakers’ efficiency in the draw circle helped Penn continue its run.

“We got sloppy,” Reese said in her halftime interview.

Clevenger ended Maryland’s drought with three minutes left in the half. Clevenger’s hat trick sparked a fiery 3-0 Maryland run as the half was closing. With just seconds left, Cordingley was given credit for a Penn own-goal. Maryland’s run gave it an 11-5 lead at the break.

The third quarter was slow offensively for both teams. After Maryland scored one early in the quarter, neither team got much going with the ball. The rainy conditions provided a challenge for both teams offensively.

“It was miserable out there, but at the same time, we need to be better and be able to execute no matter what the circumstances are,” Reese said.

After the conclusion of the uneventful third quarter, Maryland held a 12-5 lead.

“Again, we just missed a couple of our easy opportunities which could have put our foot down, and kind of made a difference in the third quarter,” Reese said. “We didn’t do that.”

Turnovers were piling up for both teams. After the third, Penn had 15 and Maryland nearly matched Penn’s total with 13.

The final quarter got off to a rocky start for Maryland. 

As Cordingley came from behind, she moved in and scored. However, Cordingley stepped in the crease, and the goal was disallowed. Penn scored following the turnover, as Keeley Block’s goal cut the Maryland lead to six.

With eight minutes to go, Kaitlyn Cumiskey scored her second goal of the day on a free-position shot. Following Cumiskey’s goal, Penn cut the Terp lead to four when Niki Miles ripped a shot from the 8-meter mark.

Following one of Lipkin’s big goals, Penn scored again to keep the pressure on Maryland.

With the game tight down the stretch, Maryland scored on three straight shots to finish off Penn.

In difficult conditions, Penn put up a valiant effort, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Maryland from moving to 8-0 on the season. 

“We’ve got to recover and be ready to go on Saturday where we welcome a really strong James Madison team,” Reese said. “I look at this as an opportunity to kind of reset and get back on track.”

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