No. 11 Maryland women’s lacrosse narrowly escapes No. 20 Johns Hopkins

(Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics.)

Things were looking bleak for Maryland with just three minutes to play in the game. They trailed their in-state rival 8-7 at home and hadn’t scored a goal in over 20 minutes of play. Then, a Cathy Reese timeout gave the Terps a chance to reset.

Reese turned to her fifth year senior, Brindi Griffin, to get Maryland back into the game and she delivered. Brindi scored with 2:48 to play in the game, tying things at eight. A huge defensive stop gave Maryland’s offense the chance to take the lead on their final possession of regulation.

This time, Reese turned to her other senior, Grace Griffin, after calling a timeout. Grace was left alone by the Hopkins defense, giving her a clean look at the net and she took advantage, scoring the game-winning goal with just under 40 seconds to play.

Maryland (7-4 B1G) was able to run out the rest of the clock and clinch a 9-8 victory against Hopkins (4-5 B1G) for the second time this season.

“We had a really good energy in the huddle,” Reese said in reference to the timeouts. “This group wasn’t going to go down without a fight. We’ve had a couple games this year where I’ve felt like we got caught back on our heels but today wasn’t that way.” 

The Terps looked very sloppy on offense early on in the game, turning it over multiple times without getting shots off. Hopkins scored the first two goals of the game and was able to dominate possession by using up the shot clock and drawing fouls on many of their possessions.

Maryland’s defense did a good job of holding Hopkins to just two goals through that stretch. Goalie Emily Sterling was particularly impressive, shutting down Hopkins repeatedly on free position looks. 

Grace Griffin finally got Maryland on the board after over thirteen minutes of scoreless play. That goal led to a period of possession domination by the Terps, but they were not able to find the back of the net until a Hannah Warther goal tied the game at the 5:28 mark. 

Brindi Griffin gave the Terps a 3-2 lead late in the half but then Maggie Schneidereith tied things up for Hopkins. Griffin scored the final goal of the half, giving Maryland a 4-3 lead heading into the locker room. 

Reese emphasized the importance of playing at a fast pace, but Hopkins was able to slow the game down for the majority of the half, forcing Maryland to play at a pace they aren’t comfortable in. 

“Hopkins was switching things up on defense, making us stay on our toes,” Grace Griffin said. “We just had to make sure that we weren’t a little surprised, especially on the clears taking care of the ball and overcoming those little setbacks.”

The second half opened up with a completely different pace of play as both teams came out firing. It took almost 15 minutes for three goals to be scored in the first half, but in the second half there were three goals scored less than three minutes in.

Hannah Leubecker got things going just 24 seconds in for Maryland but was quickly answered by Mackenzie Helberg. Catie May and Brindi Griffin put the Terps up 7-4 before an Aurora Cordingley goal cut the deficit to two.

After those first three goals of the half, the Maryland offense disappeared. Hopkins scored four unanswered goals from 24:36 to 7:27, including three by their leading scorer Cordingley. Hopkins led 8-7 when Reese took the timeout with three minutes to play. 

The goals scored by Brindi and Grace Griffin gave the Terps a 9-8 lead with under a minute to play. Lizzie Colson then won the biggest draw control of the day, icing the game for the Terps. 

“Coming out of the timeout I had all the confidence in the world in her [Grace],” Brindi Griffin said. “I’m so proud of all the girls that played today, just how we came out and how we fought all the way till the end. It was very exciting.” 

Maryland struggled again today with consistency, but was able to pull out one of its grittiest wins of the season. They did not really show improvement in terms of turnovers or shooting percentage, but played a strong defensive game and stepped up when it mattered most. 

The Terps’ final game of the regular season will be on Sunday at 3:00 against Rutgers.