By Jordan Fine
No. 9 Maryland women’s lacrosse started its season on a stellar note with a 16-3 demolition of Saint Joseph’s on Friday in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The Terps were on fire from the start, netting six first-quarter goals. They kept their foot on the gas throughout, leading by eight at halftime and later putting the finishing touches on a dominant 13-goal win that featured 10 unique goal scorers.
“Everybody contributed. Everyone was a part of a great win for us today,” Maryland head coach Cathy Reese said.
Eloise Clevenger helped pace the Terps’ dynamic offense with seven assists — the second-most in a single game in program history. Clevenger holds the record, having totaled eight assists last season against Ohio State.
Junior Hailey Russo kicked off the scoring with two goals in the first four minutes and continued her offensive pressure for the remainder of the game. Last season, Russo was a backup draw specialist, but against the Hawks, she broke out with two quick tallies.
Sophomore Kori Edmondson picked up right where she left off last season with two goals, six shots and one draw control. As a freshman, Edmondson appeared stood second on the team with 41 goals. On Friday, she took charge with the second-most shots on the team.
Hannah Leubecker, Libby May, Jordyn Rosga and Shannon Smith also each contributed two goals to Maryland’s effort.
“All together, just communicating is just what made us gel,” Edmondson said after the game. “Anyone can come in at any time and make a difference.”
In the second half, the Terps stayed aggressive, scoring four more goals — two with Saint Joseph’s a player down — and staying strong on the other end with four clears.
Maryland’s defense has a new look this year after some key additions, most notably reigning conference defender of the year Meghan Ball, but it was immensely effective Friday. The Hawks managed only 17 shots to the Terps’ 42. Maryland goalie Emily Sterling was also solid, making 10 saves to bring her career total over 500.
Maryland has had the Hawks’ number the past three years — Friday marked the third consecutive season the Terps beat them in a season opener — and kept that trend rolling to a 1-0 record.
Three things to know
1. New-look defense. The Terps made plenty of additions to their squad in the offseason, primarily on the defensive end. Ball and Colorado transfer Sophie Halus helped contribute to the unit’s solid performance and 17 clears Friday.
2. Plenty of shots. Maryland took 31 shots on goal, converting 16. The Terps dominated from start to finish, but will look to score at a higher rate moving forward.
3. Everyone contributed. The Terps had 10 goal scorers on the day, showing their depth and why they promise to be one of the nation’s most prolific teams.