It was a defensive battle on Sunday when No. 5 Maryland women’s lacrosse took on No. 9 Denver. In the end, the Pioneers outlasted the Terps, relying on a 7-1 run in the middle quarters.
The Terps had a chance to tie the game in the dying seconds when Kori Edmondson fired a shot within the eight-meter arc. However, the scoring opportunity was nullified by Denver’s goalkeeper and the Terps dropped their second straight game, 8-7.
Now the Terps will remain at home, where they will duel with William & Mary Wednesday evening.
The Tribe have not had a particularly successful season so far, boasting just a 2-3 overall record. One of their two victories came in double overtime against Campbell. In its match against No. 21 Richmond, William & Mary was outscored by 11 in the first frame and lost by 16 goals.
Wednesday’s game will begin at 5 p.m. and will be broadcast on Big Ten Plus.
William & Mary Tribe (2-3, 0-0 CAA)
2022 record: 4-12, 0-6 CAA
Head coach Colleen Dawson is now in her fourth season coaching the Tribe. Although the overall record may not stand out, Dawson has laid a foundation for success in the future. Last season, she produced five all-conference players. In addition, that squad led the Colonial Athletic Association in ground balls per game (20.12), caused turnovers per game (9.12) and saves per game (10.69). In her playing days, Dawson was an All-American at West Chester East High School. She then went on to spend her college career at Maryland.
Players to know
Kate Draddy, freshman midfielder, No. 5 — Draddy was a two-time All-American midfielder in high school, even being named Player of the Year at the Greater Lacrosse Awards in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2022. This week, she was honored as the CAA Women’s Lacrosse Player of the Week. She finished the week with four goals and three assists in two games. She also had a team-best six ground balls, five draw controls and a caused turnover. Draddy leads the Tribe in goals, assists and points so far this season.
Elise Palmer, sophomore goalkeeper, No. 33 — Palmer’s freshman campaign was one of the best in program history, especially as a goalkeeper. She started all 16 games and was named to the CAA All-Rookie Team. Palmer finished the season with 167 saves, which ranks seventh on the program’s single-season list. She ranked fifth in the CAA with 2.06 ground balls per game and posted a season-high 19 saves against Campbell.
Sarah Cipolla, senior midfielder/attacker, No. 14 — Cipolla had a productive junior season, ranking second on the team with 57 draw controls. She also finished the season with 27 points, 17 ground balls and seven caused turnovers. Cipolla was named CAA Player of the Week after totaling a career-best eight points in a win against Old Dominion. She has seven goals and three assists so far this season.
Continuity. The Tribe retained most of their key players from last season, sans Belle Martire. In 2022, William & Mary produced three All-Rookie Team selections in the CAA. Most importantly, those returners will have the opportunity to develop into leaders for some of their freshmen recruits, including but not limited to Draddy, Jaylin Locke and Megan Corrigan.
Offense. So far this season, the Tribe have not managed to gain any traction whatsoever on offense. In the CAA, they rank last in multiple categories, including goals per game (8.6), assists per game (three), points per game (11.6) and shots per game (24). In their three losses, the Tribe have scored eight goals or less. In their two triumphs, they’ve scored at least double digits.
Three things to watch
1. A chance to rebound. If all goes as expected, the Terps will roll to a victory Wednesday evening. What will be most interesting to see is how they go about doing it. Will they experiment with younger players and new schemes, or will they simply pound the ball inside the alley and do damage the dirty way?
Head coach Cathy Reese has talked about making progress all season. Should the Terps fail to execute almost perfectly on Wednesday, at home and against a severely overmatched William & Mary squad, there will be some questions raised as to how far this team can go.
2. Jordyn Lipkin’s production. In her first two games, Lipkin netted five goals and looked to be one of the Terps’ premier scorers. However, in the last four games, she has only produced two points total. This is partly a product of other scorers getting hot at the right time. Libby May, Hannah Leubecker, Eloise Clevenger and even Edmondson have all been chipping in recently.
Having gone scoreless in the past two games, it will be notable to see if Lipkin factors into the scoring like she did at the start of the season, or if the Terps decide to go in a different direction.
3. Will the defense continue its hot streak? In each of their last two games, which were both against top-15 opponents, the Terps conceded seven goals. Against James Madison, the Terps allowed only 12 shots on goal and won the draw control battle 13-5. In their matchup against Denver, the Terps produced similar results, allowing only 16 shots on goal and winning the draw control battle 10-9.
On Wednesday, the Terps should aim to hold the Tribe to at most four goals, which is their current season low. Ultimately, this is a fair proposition for arguably the best defense in the nation, and one that has shown considerable improvement as of late.