With about four minutes remaining in the matchup between No. 4 Maryland women’s lacrosse and William & Mary, the Terps held a commanding 15-4 lead. However, they were not done quite yet.
Attacker Eloise Clevenger got the ball to graduate attacker Aurora Cordingley who was cutting across the field horizontally toward the net. Cordingley flashed in front of the goalie and slipped the ball past her into the net for the attacker’s third goal of the day.
Cordingley’s goal marked the graduate transfer’s eighth point of the day as she finished the game with five assists to help the Terps power past William & Mary, 19-7.
In the win, the Terps recorded a season-high 11 assists led by Cordingley’s performance.
“That’s one of my favorite parts about where we are right now,” head coach Cathy Reese said after the game about Maryland’s ability to score assisted goals. “I think you were generating a lot of assisted goals this season, you know, as a whole. This is different than some of our games we’ve had maybe last year or whatever but our team is we’re all just on the same page where we want to have anybody on the field at any given time can score, that everyone can move.”
Maryland traveled to Williamsburg, Virginia, in hopes of picking up its fifth consecutive win to start the season 5-0 for the first time since 2019 and it did just that.
Maryland started this one quick with three goals in the first four minutes of the game. Junior attacker Libby May got on the board first off an assist from Cordingley. May picked up her 11th goal of the season for May and Cordingley’s 10th assist of the season as she led the Terps in that category coming into this matchup.
Cordingley has gotten off to strong start with the Terps since transferring from Maryland rival Johns Hopkins in the offseason. Ahead of this game, she swept the women’s lacrosse weekly awards earning USA Lacrosse National Player of the Week, Inside Lacrosse National Player of the Week, IWLCA National Offensive Player of the Week and the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week.
The graduate transfer picked up a career-high 10 points on four goals and a career-high six assists in Maryland’s win over Florida, the Terps’ third victory of the season.
“I didn’t really feel the need to like force the ball and like be the one to score,” Cordingley said about her performance against William & Mary in which she totaled one shy of those six assists. “If I was just the one starting the movement of the defense like getting them to shift towards me that I knew that would open up people on the backside.”
The next two goals came from Shannon Smith and although Maryland’s offense had most of the control, a scooped up ground ball almost broke the Terps’ momentum as William & Mary broke into Maryland territory but Maryland forced a turnover.
After nearly six minutes without a goal for either side, attacker Grace Ahonen broke through the Terps’ defense putting a ball past goalie Emily Sterling picking up William & Mary’s first goal of the day.
Less than 30 seconds later, the connection of Cordingley to attacker Hannah Leubecker proved to be effective with Leubecker picking up her 12th goal of the season.
To finish out the first quarter, the teams traded goals including one from William & Mary’s top scorer attacker Belle Martire but the Terps finished the first quarter up by three goals.
Maryland continued to pile it on in the second quarter outscoring William & Mary 6-2 thanks to goals from freshman midfielder Jordyn Lipkin, May, Smith, Leubecker and Cordingley.
“As we look as a team to kind of raise the level you’ve got your Hannah Leubecker who’s a great dodger, Libby May who’s a great to catcher and finishing inside, Eloise [Clevenger] is great around the crease too,” Reese said. “Those four on attack are really seeing each other well and moving the ball and a lot of that starts with Aurora [Cordingley].”
Sterling had eight saves in the first 30 minutes of the game while although William & Mary goalie Elise Palmer let up 11 goals, she had seven saves.
The first half was highlighted by Cordingley’s performance who was more than halfway on pace of breaking her career-best in points and assists with four assists and six points.
The third and fourth quarters continued a similar narrative— Maryland’s offensive dominance. In the second half, the Terps outscored William & Mary 8-3 dominating on all levels of the field. Leubecker and May each used the second half to bring their goal totals to four and Cordingley racked up her remaining points to finish the day with eight points on three goals and five assists.
Head coach Cathy Reese switched out Sterling for goalkeepers Emily Lamparter and Maddie McSally who played for about nine and six minutes each, respectively. Reese also rotated in some of her younger players including freshman attacker Hailey Russo who scored her second goal of the season.
“Everybody that’s eligible player was able to play today,” Reese said. “So, it was nice to kind of to see everybody out on the field and enjoying the moment.”
Maryland’s consistent and balanced attack along with Sterling’s performance in the cage allowed Maryland to pick up its fifth consecutive win to start the season and collect its third straight win with a double-digit goal margin.
Three things to know
1. The Terps’ offensive dominance continues. Maryland has scored no fewer than 15 goals in an outing this season. The Terps’ most goals came in the season-opener against Saint Joseph’s and against William & Mary, Maryland tallied one shy of that goal total. The Terps had eight different scorers find the back of the net highlighted by May and Leubecker’s performances who each had a game-high four goals.
2. Emily Sterling had a strong performance and so did the defense. Sterling left the game after three quarters for Lamparter to have an opportunity in the cage and she finished the day on a high note. Sterling allowed just five goals and had nine saves. The goalie also had some assistance from her defenders.
“I think my defense did a really good job of setting me up to make those saves they were forcing those low angle shots,” Sterling said. “They were also in on their hands every single shot I was seeing. So it was bobbled in some way and William & Mary wasn’t picking the corners that they wanted to shoot at.”
Graduate defender Abby Bosco finished the day with six draw controls, three caused turnovers and three ground balls. Midfielder Shaylan Ahearn also made an impact on the circle with four draw controls and also caused a turnover.
3. Maryland advances to 5-0 for the first time since 2019. After two straight seasons with losses in the first give games, the Terps are seemingly back to a point where losing may be a lot more rare than it has been in recent seasons. The Terps have picked up wins over Saint Joseph’s, then-No. 11 Virginia, then-No. 7 Florida, Delaware and now William & Mary. Next up for the Terps, they have a four-game stretch at home. The Terps will take on Villanova before being tested by three ranked opponents in No. 17 Rutgers, No. 19 Penn and No. 12 James Madison.