No. 10 Maryland women’s lacrosse sweeps weekend series against No. 17 Michigan

(Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics.)

The Maryland women’s lacrosse team improved to 2-1 after defeating Michigan 12-9 for the second time in three days. It rained hard for the entire 60 minutes, making for a sloppy game by both sides.

“Conditions were really tough out there for both teams,” head coach Cathy Reese said. “This is a really young group and when facing a challenge, they found a way to get it done so that’s something I’m really proud of.”

Senior midfielder Grace Griffin was the Terps most impressive performer, finishing the day with four goals and five ground balls. Hannah Leubecker followed up her seven-goal game with a three-goal performance. Lizzie Colson anchored the defense with three caused turnovers. 

For the second game in a row, Michigan opened up the scoring early with a goal from Maggie Kane just 30 seconds into the action. Brindi Griffin tied the game for Maryland at 27:11, but then the Terps went on a long scoring drought.

Michigan called a timeout with 19:57 remaining in the first half and proceeded to score three unanswered goals in the next 10 minutes. Two came on free position shots, which extended their lead to 4-1. Maryland’s 17-minute scoring drought finally ended when Grace Griffin scored an unassisted goal at 9:50.

Struggling to score for a prolonged period, the Terps responded with a dominant stretch offensively. Grace Griffin scored again a minute later and then Leubecker got on the board a minute after that. Maryland proceeded to score a total of seven goals in the final 9:50 of the half, while Michigan scored just one. The Terps entered the second half with an 8-5 lead. 

“We were kind of taken by surprise by the weather and didn’t come out as hard as we wanted to,” Grace Griffin said. “We kind of just needed that switch, everyone just started going hard.”

The second half opened up with the teams trading goals, pushing the score to 9-6. After another timeout by Michigan, the Wolverines scored two quick goals to cut Maryland’s deficit to one. However, as they did on Friday, Maryland never allowed Michigan to fully get back in the game.

Three consecutive goals by Grace Griffin, Victoria Hensh, and Hannah Leubecker in two minutes gave the Terps a four-goal advantage. After a Maggie Kane goal at 12:35, the scoring ceased and the teams finished the game with a 12-minute scoring drought. 

The Terps finished the game with another impressive shooting percentage, 67% and showed how lethal they can be when the offense is playing well. However, two scoring droughts of over 15 minutes proves that they still have room for improvement. 

“We turned the ball over too many times,” Reese said. “It was hard to play today, but that’s not an excuse. We need to be able to execute and be a little better than the weather.” 

Reese’s frustration with turnovers is beginning to become a theme in her press conferences, and for good reason. Maryland turned it over 17 times today, its largest amount so far this season.

Despite the turnover issues, the Terps have found a winning formula in the past few games. They will have a long layoff to build on their successes and continue to work out the kinks in their game. 

Maryland’s next game is not until March 10 at Johns Hopkins.

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