By Carrie Hanks
The Terrapins seemed unfazed by the weather in their Wednesday night game against UMBC. The victory keeps their record on the season perfect, 4-0, and against UMBC all-time, 10-0.
Six different Terps contributed in scoring to the 14-7 win. Three players had hat tricks: junior Taylor Cummings with four goals, sophomore Zoe Stukenberg with four goals, and freshman Megan Whittle with three goals.
UMBC, now 3-3 on year, were slow from the start, taking until the eighth minute of the game to put a shot on Terps’ starting goalie, redshirt senior Alex Fitzpatrick. Their first goal came more than ten minutes into the game, Maryland’s defense and counter-defense able to keep the Retrievers’ offense from producing anything a whole lot from the start.
The Terps’ counter-defense was set from the start on swarming the ball and not letting UMBC clear the ball easily, according to Maryland head coach, Cathy Reese.
“That’s an area we want to continue to get better on,” Reese said in a post-game interview.
The quick transition defense caused UMBC to turn the ball back to the Terps throughout the game, and made it very difficult for the visiting team to even get in their offensive end of the field.
One of the highlight goals of the night, amidst the many other strategically executed ones, came from Cummings with ten minutes left in the first half. The UMBC defense had attempted to create a sense of urgency in the Maryland offense, which had settled into a motion offense of sorts, by double-teaming the ball carrier. But the Terps’ fast but calm ball movement made this an improbable feat for the defense to execute. As the defenders became jumbled and players were switching around, Cummings found herself outside the 12-meter arc all alone. A couple quick passes got the ball the junior, and instead of driving into potentially collapsing defenders, Cummings caught the whole defensive unit, including freshman goalkeeper, Kelsey Major, off-guard by taking a shot from far out.
This unassisted goal was Cummings’s second of the night. She answered with another goal about half a minute later, getting her third hat trick of the season.
Maryland extended their lead to ten in the second half, which was answered by a three-goal run by UMBC. The Terps answered with two more goals before UMBC finished the game with two last minute goals to cut the ending margin of defeat to seven.
The sizeable lead was comforting enough for Reese to look to her bench. Reese said that when they decide if it’s time to do that, it’s based on if there will be consistency out on the field.
Three different goalies saw time in the net for the Terps. Redshirt senior Alex Fitzpatrick, sophomore Emily Kift, and freshman Emma Moss, each contributed saves to the Terrapins’ defense against UMBC. The defensive unit held the Retrievers to just five shots in the first half.
The Terps had a record night in the shooting area. The most shots they had put up in a game so far in the season was 33. In the first half of the Wednesday night game, the Terps almost reached that, with 30 shots put up. By the end of the game, they still had more than twice as many shots as UMBC, outshooting them 43-21.
Stukenberg, post-game, was happy with the offensive numbers the team was able to put up for the night, but addressed that shot selection and execution can still improve.
“I think we’ll just work on, kind of, seeing the net, instead of just firing,” the sophomore said. “Those big offensive numbers, you know, they’re kind of our bread and butter.”
The Terps will face No. 5 Syracuse on Saturday at noon in a rematch of the 2014 National Championship Game.