Entering on a six-game winning streak, Maryland women’s lacrosse extended the streak with a 17-5 victory Wednesday night at home against Georgetown.
The Terps are now the No. 3 team in the nation after their weekend victory against James Madison. With Stony Brook and Boston College, Nos. 1 and 2 respectively, still undefeated, it’s unlikely the Terps can rise in the ranks without one of them losing. But a ranking is just a number, and as long as Maryland continues its winning ways, that ranking won’t matter.
The Hoyas came into College Park off the heels of a loss to Florida, and to make matters worse, they would be without reigning Big East Midfielder of the Year Francesca Whitehurst. It was going to be hard for Georgetown to stick around even if they were at full health, and with Whitehurst sidelined, Maryland was able to cruise to a win.
Usual suspects Megan Whittle and Jen Giles were unusually quiet against the Hoyas, and that paved the way for Kali Hartshorn to show out. It was arguably the best game of the season for the sophomore, as she contributed four goals and an assist to help the Terps claim their seventh straight victory. She was also supremely dominant on the draw, nearly surpassing her career-high with 10 controls.
Caroline Steele’s recent dominance continued, playing a big part in the Terps getting out to an early lead. The junior scored four goals in the blowout victory, raising her tally to 30 on the year. Freshman Grace Griffin also had a day to remember, scoring three goals and adding two assists.
The Terps controlled the opening draw, and although their first scoring chance was stymied by Haelle Chomo, they were on the board first. Steele snuck one past for her 27th goal of the season, good for second on the team.
It wasn’t long before the Hoyas evened the score. After a turnover by the Terrapins, Natalia Lynch drove through the defense for an unassisted goal. But Griffin’s great pass inside to Hartshorn just 44 seconds later put Maryland back on top.
After Georgetown tied it up, the Terps pulled away. They scored six straight goals and received contributions from all over. Hartshorn and Griffin led the way and allowed Maryland to get out to an 8-2 lead. The Hoyas fought back to cut the deficit, scoring two straight in a span of 66 seconds. But as they’ve done all year, the Terrapins scored a late goal to close out the first half. With just 18 seconds left in the half, Steele sent her team into the break with a five-goal advantage.
Much like it was in the previous period, the second half went Maryland’s way with ease. Thanks to Hartshorn’s terrific day, the Terps scored the first six goals to extend their lead to eleven. And once the running clock was instituted, the game was effectively over.
Maryland will head to Michigan on Saturday to face off against the Wolverines. The game is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. ET, airing on Big Ten Network.
Three things to know
1. The defense played lights out. Georgetown was held to just five goals, which tied the lowest opposing total Maryland has allowed this season. That was all due to the team’s great defensive performance, letting the Hoyas get just seven shots on cage. With a showing like that, Megan Taylor was able to sit back and relax all game.
2. The Terps dominated the draw. Thanks to Hartshorn, and to a lesser extent Lizzie Colson and Whittle, Maryland had an astounding 17-7 advantage on draw controls. Having even a slight edge in that category is enough to help a team win, but with a discrepancy of that size it almost allows leads to a complete beatdown as it did on Wednesday.
3. It’s back on the road. Back-to-back home games is always something to look forward to for Maryland given its amazing home-field advantage at the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex. Now, the Terps have to travel all the way to Ann Arbor for a matchup against the Michigan Wolverines, who are just 5-6 on the season. If they play as well as they did in that contest, it could be over just as quickly.