By Alex Littlehales
Maryland’s senior day went off without a hitch, as the still undefeated Terps took down Michigan 14-9 on a gorgeous day in College Park.
The Terps held a pre-game ceremony for the 11 graduating seniors and their families in recognition of their hard work and dedication. Head Coach Kathy Reese trotted out a starting lineup of all seniors, sending off the seniors with a game they would never forget.
The core of these seniors has been with Maryland for two ACC Championships, as well as the national championship they won just last year.
It’s always tough to see the seniors of your team leave, but these seniors probably wouldn’t have had the game go any other way. Taylor Cummings scored within the first 45 seconds of the match on a driving assist by Kelly McPartland, and Brooke Griffin capitalized on a Cummings assist just seconds later.
Taylor Salandra scored her second goal of the season off a Kristen Lamon assist. Just 3 minutes into the half, Maryland was up 3-0 with no indication of letting up.
“Being out there with my grade was awesome, we started together freshman year and being able to finish out there as seniors started our energy,” said Salandra.
Michgan’s leading scorer Jess Angerman drilled the top left corner to keep the match interesting, capping a 3-2 Michigan run off goals by Lauren Oberlander and Tess Korten.
Despite a threatening Michigan offense, Maryland remained dominant the entire half. The Terps throttled 13 shots on goal, won seven more draw controls than Michigan, and forced five of the Wolverines 10 first half turnovers.
These faults were in comparison minimal to Michigan’s game defining foul trouble. The Wolverines totaled 43 fouls, making it nearly impossible for them to find a defensive rhythm strong enough to stop Maryland’s potent offense.
“We knew coming into this game it was going to be physical, and we were prepared to stick our 8 meters,” said Zoe Stuckenberg, who finished with two goals on the day.
With the first half winding down, freshman Megan Whittle drove from the baseline and scored to notch her 54th goal of the season, opening up the Maryland lead 10-4. With 16 seconds left in the half, Maryland won the ensuing draw, and Whittle scored again after streaking from half field to the cage within seconds to push the lead 11-4 at halftime.
The second half was more of Maryland simply being the Maryland team that has kept them undefeated the entire season. The Terps committed few turnovers, continued to dominate the draws, and notched nine more shots on goal than Michigan.
Michigan valiantly ended the game on a 4-0 scoring run within the last two minutes of the game.
“They fought hard all game, and never stopped fighting until the ending whistle,” said Reese.
The seniors weren’t the only contributors during Senior day, as Coach Reese rotated a total 31 players throughout the game, playing everyone who was physically healthy.
With the Big Ten tournament coming up in just a few weeks, Reese stated “I’m not mentally there yet. We still have to finish our regular season, and then we can reset for our next phase of the season.”
There was no stopping the Terps from walking away with another dominant 14-9 win in College Park. The season comes to a close next Thursday against Penn State at home, where Maryland will look to go undefeated in the regular season and be the only Division I team to do so.