Maryland women’s lacrosse looked every part the No. 1 team in the nation against William & Mary in Sunday’s season opener, eviscerating the Tribe 18-7.
It didn’t take long for the Terrapins to flex their muscles in this one, as senior attacker Taylor Hensh put her team on the board just 47 seconds in the game. That set the tone for the entire day, as numerous players had multi-goal games en route to a blowout victory.
Megan Whittle had the most points on Maryland’s national championship team last year, and she continued her dominance right away in her 2018 campaign. The senior attacker had five points in the Terrapins’ win, posting four goals and adding an assist. It won’t be easy to surpass last year’s total of 87 points, but she certainly got off to a good enough start.
Caroline Steele began her junior season on a good note, as she scored four first-half goals on just five shots to showcase her offensive abilities early on. Jen Giles added in three goals while getting her first assist of the year. That pass was to freshman Grace Griffin, who was able to make it a debut to remember.
Another standout for Maryland was junior transfer Meghan Siverson. She came to the Terps from Louisville, and her impact was seen immediately. While she didn’t dominate the box score—she had two goals on four shots—Siverson was continually involved on the offensive end and helped facilitate a lot of the early scoring.
If Hensh’s goal within the first minute didn’t show the dominance of Maryland’s team, then the next four goals certainly did the job. Steele, Siverson, Whittle and then Giles put the Terps up 5-0 with 26:27 left in the first half.
They kept the scoring up throughout the half, as Maryland had the first 11 goals of the game. Maddie Torgerson was able to put William & Mary on the board, getting a shot past IWLCA Goalie of the Year Megan Taylor. But Steele and Kali Hartshorn made sure a comeback for the Tribe would never mount. After the first 30 minutes of the game, the Terrapins were up 15-2.
As expected, Cathy Reese’s team took a step back in the second half and got some of the reserves a chance at substantial playing time. William & Mary scored the first two goals of the second half, but two goals from Whittle and another from Siverson brought Maryland to 18 goals with 17:43 left.
The Terps wouldn’t score again on the day, but that didn’t take away from their terrific showing. Three goals from the opposition made the final score more respectable, but the relative ease in which they occurred is something for the team to take a look at going forward.
Maryland couldn’t ask for a better start to the season, and the Terps travel away from College Park as the season rolls on. A trip to Florida for Saturday’s game against the Gators will be their next stop, and they’ll play North Carolina the following weekend.
Three things to know
1. Maryland got contributions from all over. Four Terps had multi-goal games, including hat tricks from a trio of players. While there were only five assists on the team’s 18 goals, the ball movement throughout the game was terrific. Anyone on the field can score at any given time, which is such a dangerous threat for a team to have.
2. The defense was terrific. Maryland forced 14 turnovers in this game, and the ferociousness with which it played made nothing come easy for the Tribe. Not only can they score at will, but they make opponents fight for every inch.
3. The title defense is on. It wasn’t a great test for Maryland, but the Terps passed it easily. The schedule will get harder and every team will throw their best shot at the defending champs, but Maryland looks like the team to beat once again.