clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Maryland women’s lacrosse vs. Virginia preview

New, 5 comments

The Terps hit the road looking for a 12th straight victory.

NCAA Lacrosse: Women's Semifinal - Syracuse Orange vs. Maryland Terrapins Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

After an easy victory over Michigan Saturday, Maryland women’s lacrosse gets back to playing ranked teams with a visit to Virginia. The Cavaliers have won five of their last six games, but Maryland owns the all-time series 40-17. When these teams played last season, Maryland cruised to a 17-6 win.

The first draw in Charlottesville will be Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET.

No.18 Virginia Cavaliers (7-5)

Head coach Julie Myers. Hired as head coach in 1996, Myers has led the Cavaliers to 21 straight NCAA tournament appearances. In those 21 seasons, Virginia has won the NCAA championship once, in 2004, and lost in the championship game six times. She has three total championships—one as a player, one as an assistant coach and one as a head coach.

Players to watch

Maggie Jackson, 5’7, Midfield, No. 14. Jackson does it all for the Cavaliers, leading the team in five categories, most notably in points, with 42. Her 51 draw controls, 37 ground balls, 21 assists and 19 caused turnovers all lead the team as well. In Virginia’s last game against Boston College, Jackson collected three goals, three assists, three ground balls and seven draw controls.

Kelly Reese, 5’2, Attack, No. 5. Reese has been Virginia’s primary goal scorer this season, leading the team with 32. Additionally, her 38 points are second on the squad and she sports a shot-on-goal percentage of .817. She recently went six straight games with a hat trick, scoring 21 goals total in that span, before getting shut out in last week’s loss to Boston College.

Strengths

Offense. Virginia is averaging 13 goals per game this year, including 14.3 goals in their last three games. Four Cavaliers have scored 20 goals this season, while Virginia also carries a free position percentage of .450 on the year.

Caused Turnovers. As a team, Virginia has caused 131 turnovers this year, or 10.92 per game, good for No. 20 in the nation. For Maryland to avoid the upset, it will need to protect the ball and be alert in its own zone.

Weaknesses

Goalkeeper. Virginia has struggled to protect the cage, as their primary goalkeeper, Rachel Vander Kolk, is No. 80 in the country with a save percentage of .397. Maryland shouldn’t have much of an issue scoring in this one.

Fouls. Virginia plays a physical game, averaging 27.5 fouls per game this season. Additionally, the Cavaliers 25 yellow cards is tied for 15th most in the nation, meaning Maryland may have a few extra-man advantages in this one.

Three Things to Watch

  1. Who leads the Terps offense this week? Because Maryland is so balanced, the team doesn’t have to rely on one player to carry the offense. In three of the last four games, at least two players were tied for the scoring lead, and four players got hat tricks in two of the last three games.
  2. Brindi Griffin is finding her role. The freshman is coming off her second straight and second career hat trick against Michigan. It is worth watching how much more Griffin can grow this season and whether Cathy Reese gives Griffin more responsibility as the season progresses.
  3. How much better can the Terps get? Maryland is already the No. 1 team in the country and continuously gotten better each week. Is there anymore room to grow? If we haven’t seen the best of this team yet, it’s scary to think how good they can become.