Coming off a thrilling late-game sealing win over Johns Hopkins, No. 10 Maryland women’s lacrosse will have little time to rest.
With Maryland ahead 9-4 at halftime, it appeared as though it was going to glide to a victory. However, Johns Hopkins had other plans, embarking on a 5-0 run in the third quarter and creating one of the best finishes to a game all season long. Only in the final five minutes did Maryland muster up a mini scoring run, courtesy of Libby May and Kori Edmondson.
Now, the Terps will turn their attention to yet another Big Ten foe in Ohio State.
Thus far, the Buckeyes haven’t performed all that well. Despite starting the season 3-0 with victories against Robert Morris, Temple and San Diego State, they dropped seven out of their succeeding eight matches. Among those included a 13-3 loss to Penn State, a 16-7 loss to James Madison and an 11-8 defeat at the hands of Johns Hopkins.
Saturday’s game will begin at 12 p.m. and stream on Big Ten Plus.
Ohio State Buckeyes (5-8, 0-3 Big Ten)
2022 record: 9-7, 2-4 Big Ten
Amy Bokker is currently in her fourth season at the helm of the program. Through 2022, she possessed a record of 18-20 with the Buckeyes. Bokker has coached a number of All-Big Ten nominees and a bevy of scholar-athletes. Before coming to Ohio State, she spent 11 seasons at Stanford, where she led the Cardinals to six conference titles and eight NCAA Tournament appearances. Bokker has also coached at American University and George Mason. She played field hockey collegiately at William & Mary.
Players to watch
Nicole Ferrara, senior attacker, No. 11 — Ferrara is currently in her second season of captaincy for the Buckeyes. In 2022, she was named to the All-Big Ten second team and entered her senior season on a 21-game point streak. In just 13 games so far this campaign, Ferrara has posted 33 goals and 40 total points. In fact, she leads Ohio State in goals by a margin of 14.
Jamie Lasda, junior attacker, No. 7 — Lasda currently leads the Buckeyes in total points, besting Ferrara with 43. She has 24 assists on the season. The next closest to her mark on the squad is Ferrara, who has just seven. In addition, Lasda has nine ground balls and six caused turnovers to date.
Regan Alexander, junior goaltender, No. 00 — In her sophomore year, Alexander played in all 16 games, starting the last 15. Currently, she leads the Buckeyes in ground balls (31) and caused turnovers (13). She recently had a season-high 15 saves in a loss to Marquette. This season, Alexander boasts a goals against average of 11.26 and a save percentage of .490.
Goalie play. As mentioned above, Regan Alexander has played sensationally for the Buckeyes this season. She’s one of the main reasons why the Buckeyes are able to stay in close games, given their shooting and scoring woes. Currently, Ohio State leads the Big Ten in saves per game (10.77) and save percentage (.488).
Draw controls. Typically, Maryland has feasted on teams that have been subpar at draw controls. Even Johns Hopkins, which ranked No. 3 in draw controls per game in the Big Ten, lost the battle 19-10. There should be an even larger disparity between Maryland and Ohio State this Saturday, as the Buckeyes rank dead last in the conference in draw controls per game with 11.15.
Three things to watch
1. Senior day. In commemoration of this day, let’s take a look at some of the impactful Maryland seniors to watch out for.
First, attacker Libby May has been on a tear. Not only does she lead the Terps in goals, but the goals have come at extremely opportune times, including two late scores against Johns Hopkins.
Brianna Lamoreux has started every game this season, and has scooped up a whopping 57 ground balls to go with 25 caused turnovers.
Emily Sterling has been terrific, with a season goals against average of 9.16 and 118 total saves.
Shaylan Ahearn has been one of the best all-around midfielders in the nation this season. She has 15 goals to go along with an astronomical 95 draw control wins, leading the Big Ten in that statistic by a mile.
Finally, Hannah Leubecker has been a steady, reliable offensive weapon, posting 26 goals and six assists on the campaign.
2. The game flow. Given that the Terps allowed a 5-0 run to Johns Hopkins last match, it’s going to be worth watching every second of this game. After taking a 9-4 lead into half, Maryland’s attack couldn’t produce any sort of cohesive offense. The Johns Hopkins defense adjusted to everything the Terps tried to throw at them in the third quarter.
It will be interesting to see what the game plan will look like, and if they too will respond when Ohio State adjusts to their strategies.
3. Turnovers. Head coach Cathy Reese mentioned in the postgame following the Johns Hopkins outing that turnovers were one of the biggest issues plaguing the Terps. Of their 14 total giveaways, five occurred in the third frame. Because Maryland is one of the best programs at clearing the ball in the nation, many of the turnovers take place on the offensive end.
If the Terps can simply slow things down and compose themselves, they should have a good shot to win against an Ohio State team that commits about four more turnovers per game.