RECAP: Maryland women’s lacrosse hangs on, routs Princeton, 19-9

Coming out of the halftime break, Maryland looked to continue its 4-0 run. After losing the opening draw, Princeton set up its offense.

On the Tigers’ possession, Maryland goalie Emily Sterling read the play like a book—coming out the cage and  intercepting a pass in front.

Maryland pushed the ball rapidly in transition. After a couple of passes downfield, Hannah Leubecker found herself with a direct path to the goal. Leubecker finished with ease, lighting a spark for Maryland that led to its second half dominance.

On a warm night in Princeton, Aurora Cordingley and Leubecker combined for 10 goals, leading the No. 8 Terps to a convincing 19-9 victory over No. 12 Princeton.

“Tonight was a great game,” head coach Cathy Reese said. “We started out slow and had to claw our way back and I’m really just proud of how we did that over the course of four quarters.”

Maryland got off to a poor start. 

After a Mckenzie Blake goal, Maryland trailed 3-0 not even five minutes in.

“We haven’t really been in that situation like right off the bat,” Reese said. “It was tough.”

Libby May stopped the bleeding soon after, scoring Maryland’s first of the day. After the early offensive struggles, Maryland began to find its groove. May’s goal started a  3-0 run for the Terps just before the end of the first.

“I thought we possessed the ball a lot better throughout the course of the game,” Reese said. We made smarter decisions than we made early on.”

Princeton ended Maryland’s run as they scored to open the second quarter.

Maryland answered with two scores of its own. Leubecker scored her first of the day, then Clevenger captured her second moments later. Three minutes later, Princeton tied the game when Kyla Sears scored on her free-position chance.

The Terps began to dominate the remainder of the half.

May and Cordingley scored back-to-back goals to push Maryland in front. Five minutes later, Leubecker struck again, extending Maryland’s lead.

With 28 seconds left in the half, Grace Griffin buried her free-position shot—capping off a 4-0 Maryland run to end the first half.

After the wild first half of play, Maryland held a 9-5 lead. The beginning of the second half started the same way. 

After Leubecker’s score, Mulham scored her third of the day for Princeton on a running shot, but Cordingley responded with a goal of her own moments later.

After two scoreless possessions for both teams, Mulham continued her terror of Maryland’s defense—scoring her fourth of the night.

Both teams continued to score back and forth.

After a timeout, Cordingley continued her dominance of the Tigers’ defense, scoring her fifth goal of the game, which also marked her 50th of the season.

“All down to my teammates,” Cordingley said. “I mean, this is something I’ve never achieved ever in my four years playing college. I think that just goes to show how amazing my teammates are and how they’ve brought me up this year.”

With a lead to protect, Sterling continued to shut down the Tigers’ attackers. 

“She’s our anchor back on [defense],” Reese said. 

Sterling’s saved total was up to 9 by the end of the third.

On the first possession of the fourth quarter, Leubecker kept the Maryland offense hot, scoring her fourth of the night.

“Everyone on the attack is a threat to score,” Leubecker said. “It’s hard to key on just one or two players when everyone’s dangerous…When [Cordingley] drives. They’re not looking at me as much, or when I drive, they aren’t looking at [Cordingley] as much.”

After killing a two-minute woman-up chance for Princeton, Leubecker attacked the cage and rifled in her fifth goal, extending Maryland’s lead to seven.

“I think they weren’t sending the slide as quickly,” Leubecker said. “I knew that if I could get underneath or over top, I could get into the [eight-meter mark] and get a shot off.”

In the final six minutes, the Terps already had the game iced, but they continued to add some extra insurance. Maryland scored five goals in the final frame, cementing the result.

As the clock winded down, Maryland left the field with a road win, improving to 12-1.

What started as an awful start for the Terps, turned into a convincing win over Princeton.

“I think we’ve got something really special here in College Park this year,” Reese said.

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