No. 4 Maryland women’s lacrosse attacker Aurora Cordingley was an offensive magician on Tuesday evening, recording her third of eventual five goals of the game just nine minutes into the matchup against Delaware.
She scored her hat trick goal from a challenging angle and sneaked it into the goal to give Maryland a four-goal advantage with about six minutes left in the first quarter. The Terps eventually went on to score eight goals in the first quarter, which proved to be enough to overcome the Blue Hens.
Led by a first-quarter hat trick by the reigning Big Ten and national Offensive Player of the Week in Cordingley, the Terps got out to a dominant start and they didn’t look back, sealing the 15-2 win over Delaware.
“Well, Aurora [Cordingley] is simply one of the best players in the country,” head coach Cathy Reese said after the game.
After its win over Delaware, Maryland is now 4-0 to start the season. The victory was the third time this season that the Terps have beaten an opponent by at least 10 goals. Maryland will look to stay undefeated on Saturday when it faces William & Mary.
Delaware gained possession to start the contest, but that was the only time the Terps seemed to be at risk of falling behind. Lockdown defense and a key save from goalie Emily Sterling allowed the Terps to counter and begin the rout – a common theme throughout the evening.
Even though the Terps recorded 15 goals for the fourth game in a row, their lack of execution on the offensive end was something that Reese was not happy with.
“So obviously, as we keep resetting, I don’t like having 21 saves on the stat sheet for an opposing goalie either,” Reese said. “But these are just areas we need to execute just a little bit tighter a little tougher.”
Despite the overwhelming offensive attack, Maryland’s defense was brilliant throughout, suffocating the Blue Hens seemingly every time they advanced into a threatening position.
Maryland doubled up on Delaware in forced turnovers in the first half, and Sterling was perfect, stopping all five shots she faced.
“We were able to just focus on our communication and do a better job of that,” defender Abby Bosco said. “And also forcing, when they do get shots off, focusing on forcing them into bad shots.”
The Terps converted on eight of their opening 12 shots on goal, behind three goals from Cordingley and a double off the stick of sophomore midfielder Shannon Smith.
In an effort to provide some sort of spark, Delaware, down 8-0, subbed out goaltender Sophia Foohey for senior Mercy McCarthy.
Maryland was still able to add on in the second, with goals from Cordingley and freshman midfielder Jordyn Lipkin. Alongside three key stops from Sterling, the Terps went into the half with a 10-goal advantage.
Four of those ten goals were set up by sophomore attacker Eloise Clevenger, who humbly gave all the praise to her teammates.
“My other teammates, they’re great off ball,” Clevenger said. “They’re always moving, always setting picks. And I think that off ball movement opens up a lot of shots.”
With the double-digit lead, Maryland head coach Cathy Reese took out her starting netminder in favor of Emily Lamparter.
McCarthy was outstanding in the third period for Delaware, stopping five shots in the first five minutes including an early save against attacker Libby May who scored nine goals coming into this matchup.
The Terps just continued to display their offensive firepower, though, peppering the opposition cage with shots and broke through a couple of more times. The Terps got their 11th goal of the game off attacker Hannah Leubecker’s second goal of the contest, and their 12th came shortly after from Lipkin.
The traveling Delaware fans were finally able to feel some excitement as the Blue Hens got their first and only goal coming from Danika Swech, who trickled one behind Lamparter.
The pace settled down dramatically in the final period with the running clock in play, as Maryland added two goals and Delaware scored one to close out the host’s 13-goal win.
Three things to know
1. The Terps’ offensive and defensive balance was in full effect. It was as much of a defensive onslaught as it was an offensive one for Maryland. Doubling up on the Blue Hens on draw controls and turnovers, the Terps dominated up and down the field, allowing them to cruise to a win by their largest margin of victory of the season.
2. Aurora Cordingley might be even better than advertised. The fifth-year transfer from Johns Hopkins recorded five goals and an assist. In the last game against then-No. 7 Florida, Cordingley had a 10-point outing made up of six assists and four goals. In this one, Cordingley set the tone with her first-period hat trick and will look to do more of the same throughout the season.
3. This Maryland team has stuck to its game no matter the opponent. Even in facing off against two top-15 opponents, Maryland has recorded over 15 goals in each of its first four outings, outscoring its opponents by a total score of 70-29. WIth the Terps’ next two games coming against unranked opponents, the 4-0 Terrapins look to be in form of getting off to a 6-0 start.