With No. 11 Maryland women’s lacrosse up 14-3 at half, there were questions as to whether William & Mary could forge any attempt at a comeback.
However, Maryland freshman midfielder and top recruit Kori Edmondson silenced all doubts, netting two quick goals to open the third frame and securing her second straight hat trick in her first career start.
In the end, it was a trouncing of the overmatched Tribe as the Terps won 22-4.
To the surprise of many, William & Mary won the opening draw control. And just 40 seconds in, one of its attackers was fouled and scored on a wide-open lane.
On the subsequent draw control, the Tribe capitalized once more. They weren’t able to do anything of substance this time around, but it emphasized their quick start, which the Terps didn’t initially match.
However, the Terps settled in relatively quickly, scoring two goals in the first five minutes. Both of the scores came from Libby May — one off a free position and the other from a beautiful feed from defender Abby Bosco, which was her first point of the season.
Up 2-1, the Terps began deploying their top freshmen recruits, including Jaylen Rosga, Edmondson, Maggie Weisman and Emma Muchnick.
With them seeing game action, the Terps continued to dominate, shutting down all passing lanes while on defense and working the ball around patiently on offense. It seemed as though head coach Cathy Reese wanted to see what the new additions had in their arsenal. On a number of occasions, the freshmen would take turns dodging and asserting themselves around the goal mouth. Muchnick and Edmondson netted goals on their opportunities.
“It felt amazing, just looking around at my teammates and seeing them all smile when I had a good moment,” Muchnick said. “When you feel good and your teammates feel good, it just makes the entire experience fun.”
Ultimately, the first quarter was a decisive victory for the Terps, going 5-for-5 on free positions and ending the frame with a 7-3 lead.
To start the second quarter, the Terps maintained their dominant play, with Muchnick firing a bullet past William & Mary’s goalkeeper.
There was a scary moment about four minutes into the second frame when Edmondson was hit on a wrap-around shot opportunity. She was evaluated on the sideline but was present on the bench just moments later.
In the second quarter, it was easy to recognize why the Terps were so dominant. Their game speed was simply too fast for William & Mary. There were instances where it appeared as though the Tribe was going to clear the ball. However, Maryland swarmed the ball with conviction and intercepted and defended a number of passes.
“It’s not necessarily about the stats or the numbers. It’s about playing our defense,” defender Marge Donovan said. “We’re playing together, and we’re trusting our defense.”
Additionally, Maryland’s individuals consistently beat the Tribe’s defense on dodges. They were easily able to penetrate the eight-meter whenever they wanted to and got shots off with little resistance. There were attempts by the defense to slide and recover, but Maryland’s quick decisions made it almost impossible for them to have any sort of success.
It was clear that William & Mary’s goalkeeper was overwhelmed by the ability of Maryland’s shooters, often reacting just a split-second too late.
At the half, Maryland held a commanding 14-3 lead.
In the third quarter, the Terps sent out their bench after two quick goals from Edmondson put them up 16-4. The bench played well, winning the quarter by a score of 4-1.
Players even began switching positions and testing out their abilities in scenarios they normally wouldn’t be in. Maddie Sterling, a redshirt freshman defender, scored a superb bounce shot just outside the eight-meter arc midway through the third quarter.
The fourth quarter, for the most part, replicated the third frame. Maryland continued to dominate draw controls, so when it got possession, it took most of the time off of the shot clock before attempting to score.
A few times, as the shot clock approached 10 seconds, Maryland would simply send a midfielder to cut in front of the crease and look for a quick-release shot. Because they were able to continuously beat the defense to the the cage, this scheme worked well.
Overall, this outing proved to be the most commanding of the season for the Terps. There were very few mistakes made, and they cruised their way to an 18-goal victory.
Maryland’s next game will take place on Saturday at 1 p.m. against Villanova.
Three things to know
1. Bounce-back outing. In all facets of the game, Maryland was dominant. It was to be expected, as William & Mary is currently last in most major statistical categories in the CAA, but it was an important morale boost nonetheless.
The most notable notable statistic Wednesday evening was the shot discrepancy. The Terps had 43 shots to William & Mary’s measly 18. In addition, Maryland won the draw control battle 22-8. They also had 12 caused turnovers to William & Mary’s eight.
“We talked a lot about moving the ball today and not hesitating when you see something,” Reese said. “[This game] kind of reminds up what we’re capable of.”
2. Free position execution. The big question for the Terps entering today: will they make teams pay for fouling inside the eight-meter arc? Although the Tribe was not as fast as some of the other teams Maryland will play, it was refreshing to see success in this area of the game.
In total, the Terps went 6-for-8. In some ways, it doesn’t even represent the amount of chances that Maryland could have had from the arc. It was aggressive around the crease all night, facilitating cuts and dodges to the cage. If William & Mary’s players were simply able to keep up, the Terps could have been even more triumphant on free positions.
3. Upside from the freshmen. This was a matchup that Reese felt comfortable playing her No. 1 2022 recruiting class. Collectively, they did not disappoint. Edmondson and Muchnick had four goals apiece and Weisman had a beautiful assist to a front net cutter.
In the future, it will certainly be interesting to see if these budding superstars can stay in the rotation. It becomes a balance between winning now and winning later. It would be ideal to develop the program’s future and still win the majority of games, but with many of Maryland’s matchups ending up as one or two-score games, it’s not always a realistic possibility.
“We need to just keep getting them out there,” Reese said. “It’s nice to see these freshman getting on the field and competing. I think it’s a really strong class and I think the future of Maryland lacrosse is bright.”