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Maryland women’s lacrosse vs. Johns Hopkins preview

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The Terps play their first Big Ten game of the season.

NCAA Lacrosse: Women's Semi Final-Maryland vs Syracuse Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland women’s lacrosse has enjoyed another sizable break in between games, not having played since Sunday against Syracuse.

In the Carrier Dome, the Terrapins took care of their former conference foes with an 18-11 victory over the Orange thanks to strong performances from Caroline Steele and Taylor Hensh.

And although they’ll be the visitors in their next matchup against Johns Hopkins, Baltimore could be packed with Terps fans come Saturday. The Blue Jays are currently on a four-game winning streak, having just beaten UMBC 13-9 on Wednesday.

Johns Hopkins Blue Jays (7-2)

2017 Record: 11-7 (3-3 Big Ten)

Head coach Janine Tucker is in her 25th season as the leader of the Blue Jays with a career 278-146 (.656) record, originally taking over the team when they played Division III. A graduate of Loyola (Md.), Tucker has been a staple of women’s lacrosse in the state of Maryland for nearly 30 years.

Players to know

Junior attacker Miranda Ibello, No. 8. She’s the leader of this Blue Jays team as she holds a 10-point advantage on her nearest teammate. With 18 goals and 21 assists, Ibello is adept at forcing her way into the box score in whatever way possible. The offense runs through her, so it’ll be up to Maryland to contain the junior.

Sophomore attacker Maggie Schneidereith, No. 6. Tied for the team lead in goals, Schneidereith has been a forced to be reckoned with for opposing defenses so far this season. Only in her second year, she is on pace to easily surpass last season’s total of 44 points, as she has currently tallied 29 in just three games.

Three things to watch

1. Does Maryland get a home-field advantage again? Johns Hopkins is the home team, but Maryland women’s lacrosse fans travel well. They had a presence in Syracuse last weekend, and now with the game roughly 30 miles away from College Park, the stands are sure to be filled with rowdy Terps fans.

2. Will Johns Hopkins refuse to be overlooked? The Blue Jays are a borderline top-25 team, so they’re certainly not a team to take lightly. But having just played No. 8 Syracuse and with No. 9 Penn and No. 3 James Madison on tap, there’s a chance Maryland looks past this game to the two coming up next. If they start off slowly, the Terps could be in for a long day.

3. Can the defense hold up? Johns Hopkins has six players with more than 10 goals apiece, including four with at least 18. Like Maryland, the Blue Jays can score with anyone on the field at any given time. For Megan Taylor and the Terrapins defense, it’ll be crucial to read what’s in front of them and anticipate whom each play is run through.