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Maryland women’s lacrosse vs. Ohio State preview

The Terps travel up to Columbus for a Sunday showdown.

Photo by Maryland Athletics

Maryland women’s lacrosse was lucky to leave New Jersey with a win on Tuesday night. Down four goals to Princeton midway through the second half, the Terrapins mounted a comeback for the ages to win for the 11th straight game.

Megan Whittle’s scoring total was the main storyline of the contest, as she tied Jen Adams’ program record in career goals, but it was Grace Griffin and Taylor Hensh who shined down the stretch against Princeton. The freshman scored twice to tie the contest, and the senior captain took the lead and eventually scored the game-winning goal with 45 seconds remaining.

The Terps’ schedule lets up a bit before consecutive top-20 matchups against Penn State and Northwestern. They’ll travel to Columbus for a Sunday matinee with the Ohio State Buckeyes. The game will begin at noon ET and can be seen on the Big Ten Network.

Ohio State Buckeyes (5-8, 1-3 Big Ten)

2017 Record: 6-11, 0-6

Head coach Alexis Venechanos is in her eighth season with the Buckeyes, having previously coached at UMass and Northwestern following her four-year playing career at Maryland. With a 72-55 record in Columbus, she’s seen a decent amount of success, although the past two years have been rough. The 2016 team got off to an 11-1 start but lost the final five games to miss the chance of making three straight NCAA Tournaments.

Players to know

Junior midfielder Baley Parrot, No. 2. A year after finishing second on the team in goals and points, Parrot now has made a large stride this season to run away with the lead in goals scored. With 34 on the season, she ranks seventh in the Big Ten. Parrot isn’t much of a passer, though, tallying just four assists so far.

Sophomore goaltender Jill Rizzo, No. 1. Despite being in just her second season of college lacrosse, Rizzo has established herself as one of the best goalies in the entire country. She is No. 1 in the nation with 12.31 saves per game, and her save percentage of .511 is also within the top 10. Already among the elite at her position, it’ll be interesting to see just how good Rizzo can be as her career continues.

Three things to watch

1. How does Maryland respond? After stealing a win against an unranked Princeton team, the Terrapins need to come out firing against Ohio State. They looked vulnerable on Tuesday, and they need to reestablish themselves as bulletproof heading into the postseason.

2. Another potential chance to empty the bench. Despite Rizzo’s success, Ohio State has a 5-8 record for a reason. Against a team like Maryland, the Buckeyes will have a tough time staying within the 10-goal threshold, much less keeping the score close. That means Cathy Reese will have free rein to get a large mix of players in the game.

3. Megan Whittle will break the record. This isn’t a bold proclamation, but rather a data-backed fact. Whittle hasn’t been held scoreless yet this season, and one would be hard-pressed to find any game in which she has been throughout her career. That means that on Sunday, April 14, 2018, Megan Whittle will officially be Maryland’s leader in goals scored.