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No. 8 Maryland women’s lacrosse vs. Georgetown preview

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Maryland will look to bounce back after suffering its first loss to James Madison.

Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics

No. 8 Maryland women’s lacrosse was a shell of itself against then-No. 15 James Madison. All the little things — draw controls and free position shooting — plagued the Terps throughout the contest, leading to a 13-8 defeat.

Although James Madison came into the contest as a nationally-ranked team, it was a shocking result as the nation’s highest scoring offense was held to eight goals on 23 shot attempts.

“We didn’t stay out of the eight-meter as much as we needed to,” head coach Cathy Reese said. “We kind of clogged that space and played into their style and therefore were not very effective on the offensive end.”

The loss dropped Maryland out of the top five in the Inside Lacrosse polls. Its next two games will be road matchups against unranked opponents — an opportune stretch for the Terps to get back on track.

First on the slate is a meeting with Georgetown in the nation’s capital. The game will be played Wednesday night at 7 p.m. and can be streamed on FloSports.

Georgetown Hoyas (5-5, 0-0 Big East)

2021 record: 6-10, 5-5 Big East

Head coach Ricky Fried has made nine NCAA Tournaments in his 18 seasons with Georgetown, compiling a 178-131 record. The Hoyas haven’t reached national prominence under Fried yet— reaching the national quarterfinals twice — but the veteran coach has helped produce 23 All-Americans and seven Big East regular season titles. Fried’s background suggests a turnaround eventually, with his recruiting prowess playing a major role in Johns Hopkins’ transition to Division I when he was a part of the coaching staff.

This season, the Hoyas have picked up wins over American, Delaware, George Washington, George Mason and Navy.

Players to know

Graduate defender LizaBanks Campagna (No. 28) — Following four years at Cal, Campagna decided to return to the Mid-Atlantic. The Alexandria, Virginia, native built her career in the trenches at Berkeley. Now she is bringing that pedigree to Georgetown. In her 10 starts this season, Campagna has corralled 72 draw controls, which ranks 12th in the country. She has been a bit lacking in the ground ball and caused turnover department, but she has shown in the past she can pick up the pace in short order.

Senior midfielder Annabelle Albert (No. 11) — After scoring nine goals in the first three games this season, Albert has cooled down a bit. An All-Big East preseason honoree, the senior has scored in all but two games, albeit at not as rapid a pace as the beginning of the year. But her past two performances show promise of such a stretch, scoring five goals combined against Navy and Towson.

Sophomore attacker Kylie Hazen (No. 34) — As a standout freshman in 2021, Hazen produced 45 points on 33 goals and 12 assists. This earned her Big East Freshman of the Year honors and an All-Big East First Team selection. The even distribution of goal scoring on offense has led to lower numbers on the year (14 goals, five assists), but the sophomore holds a ton of promise for the stretch run.

Strength

Variability on offense. Albert and Hazen are two of eight double-digit scorers for the Hoyas. They are joined by graduate midfielder Erin Bakes (12) and Mary Pagano (10), senior attackers Ali Diamond (17) and Jordyn Sabourin (13), sophomore midfielder Tatum Geist (12), and freshman attacker Emma Gebhardt (16). This long list of producers on offense creates a ton of legitimate threats for a defense to manage.

Weakness

Scooping up ground balls. The Hoyas’ defense is solid and has caused a good amount of turnovers, but the one area the team lacks is the ability to collect ground balls. They average the least in the Big East (13.40), stymying the transition play that can be a tremendous counter against a feisty offense such as Maryland’s.

Three things to watch

1. How will the Terps respond to their loss? Maryland was on a roll until it ran into the Dukes over the weekend. The team struggled with managing the little things and failed at producing when given the opportunity, as evidenced by a 1-8 showing from the free position. The true testament of this team will be how they fare on Wednesday.

“Losses really teach you something,” junior attacker Libby May said. “We’re just looking forward to getting another game and being able to execute.”

“It’s not the end of the world. It is a loss, we don’t want to do that, but it’s motivation now,” graduate defender Torie Barretta added.

2. Can the offense pick up the pieces? Since its win against Villanova, Maryland has seen a steady decline in its offensive play. The goal scoring has decreased each outing and thus the points total has seen a dip, with an assist decline aiding in that figure too. The confidence is there, it’s just execution that the Terps need to succeed.

“There’s no excuse,” Reese said. “I don’t think there’s an easy answer for it, I just think we need to be better at executing what we set out to do.”

3. Will another win streak end for the Terps? Maryland had won 12 straight against James Madison before suffering the home loss last weekend. The team puts another streak to the test against the Hoyas, a team the Terps haven’t lost to since 2006. The 11-game win streak has featured a fair share of blowouts. Coming off of a loss, Maryland should be searching for another such victory.