After falling on senior day, Maryland women’s lacrosse has righted the ship

By: James Consoli

After losing on its senior day to James Madison, Maryland women’s lacrosse reflected with optimism, and looked to ensure that game was an aberration.

In the five games since, Maryland has rattled off five straight dominant wins, outscoring opponents 78-32 in the process.

After the Terps’ 15-3 win against Georgetown on March 30, head coach Cathy Reese was happy with the quick turnaround.

“[I’m] pleased with where we are, and proud of how we rebounded from where we were before,” Reese said. 

Just days prior, when asked after loss what the team looked to improve going forward, Reese didn’t sugarcoat it.

 “Everything,” she said.

That kind of attitude displayed by Reese, immediately after the Terps’ first loss of the season, helps explain why the Terps routinely find themselves in contention for an NCAA Championship. Since 2010, Maryland has captured five national titles, three more than any other program in that time frame. 

Within that championship-filled term for the Terps, only one of those four seasons was an undefeated run, when they went 23-0 in 2017. In every other championship season, Maryland had a blemish along the way to the title. 

Having such a history to lean on, the midseason loss didn’t cause panic within the program.

“It’s the halfway point of the season, it’s not the end of the world,” Torie Barretta said, referring to the senior day loss. “We know this feeling, and we’re gonna come back stronger.” 

Since the drubbing at the hands of the Dukes, Maryland has done just that.

After struggling with free-position opportunities in the loss, Maryland has improved on that front and gotten results, converting on roughly 46% of its chances.

While Maryland’s free-position shot percentage and lack of execution on offense was a large factor in its only loss so far, goal scoring wasn’t the only hiccup. 

The Terps were scored on 13 times by the Dukes—tied with Virginia for the most goals by any opponent against Maryland this season.

Since, Maryland goalkeeper Emily Sterling has been stellar, making 50 saves in the last five games. Sterling currently leads all division one goalies in overall save percentage.

Outside of the goal, the Terps have also rebounded on defense, allowing less opportunities game in and game out. With two games remaining in the regular season, Maryland has rebounded well and is poised for yet another deep run into May.

“We just learned that we have to stick to the game plan a little better,” Maddie Sanchez said.

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