No. 8 Maryland women’s lacrosse cruises past Ohio State in first game of series

(Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics.)

The Terps (4-1 B1G) defeated Ohio State (1-6 B1G) 14-9 in the first game of their weekend series playing in front of fans at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex for the first time this season.

The five-goal margin of victory was the Terps largest of the season. Maryland was led by senior midfielder Grace Griffin who scored four goals, all within ten minutes in the first half, and added four assists along with sophomore attacker Hannah Leubecker who scored seven goals, tying her career high.

“We had the Grace Griffin show in the first half and the Hannah Leubecker show in the second half,” head coach Cathy Reese said. “Overall it was a good effort. We’ve got room to improve and a quick turnaround to be ready to play this team on Saturday.” 

Maryland got off to its best offensive start of the season. Leubecker, the Terps’ leading goal scorer, got them on the board first less than two minutes into the game. Grace Griffin then scored two goals in under two minutes, giving the Terps a 3-0 advantage early.

Liza Hernandez, Ohio State’s leading scorer, answered to make it 3-1, but then Maryland scored five of the next six goals, pushing its lead to 8-6 by the 15:46 mark. At this point, Grace Griffin already had 4 goals on the day, but Leubecker, Victoria Hensh, and Libby May also added goals in the first half.

At 13:06, Ohio State got back on the board with an Ali Beekhuizen goal to cut the lead to 8-3. The Buckeyes proceeded to score three more unanswered goals, one by Ashley Turner and two by Nicole Ferrera bringing them some momentum to close the first half trimming the deficit to two goals.

“We kind of needed a reset and halftime was the perfect time for that,” Grace Griffin said. “No one was freaking out, we just knew we had to get back to the way we were playing earlier.”

Brindi Griffin got the Terps on the board at 25:54 for the first time in over 19 minutes, giving them a 9-6 lead. Griffin was the only player not named Hannah Leubecker to score for the Terps in the second half. Leubecker scored each of Maryland’s final five goals of the game, including four in the final 10 minutes of the contest.

“It’s the confidence piece for me,” Leubecker said after the game. “Just knowing that I can take that shot, knowing that I can make that move, and then just doing it.” 

The Maryland defense was particularly impressive in the second half, allowing just three Ohio State goals and preventing them from ever gaining momentum. Reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week Lizzie Colson had another dominant performance with five ground balls, four caused turnovers, and eight draw controls. 

“We got our slides where we needed to be, played more disciplined, and ended up causing a few shot clock violations.” Reese said. “Lizzie Colson was all over the place today, coming up with draw controls, ground balls, and caused turnovers.”

Leading up to the game, Reese was adamant that she wanted her team to improve their shooting percentage this weekend. After shooting 42% against Hopkins last week, Maryland opened the game by scoring on each of their first four shot attempts and finished the game shooting 61%. 

The Terps will have the chance to build on this strong performance on Saturday at noon when these two teams meet again at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex.

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