The No. 2-ranked Maryland women’s lacrosse team is coming off of a huge 13-12 double-overtime win against No. 3 North Carolina, and the Terps are now regrouping for a quick turnaround.
On Sunday, Maryland started strong and took a 9-4 lead into the half, but the Tar Heels used an 8-2 second-half run to take a 12-11 lead. Kali Hartshorn was able to tie the game for Maryland with just over six minutes remaining, and Caroline Steele notched the game-winner in the start of the second overtime period. The hard-fought battle featured 25 goals and 25 saves combined by both teams in front of the largest on-campus crowd in women’s college lacrosse history.
Head coach Cathy Reese gave her players Monday off in order to allow them to recuperate mentally and physically after their matchup against North Carolina on Sunday.
“We kind of need to take a deep breath and refocus,” Reese said Tuesday. “We’re going into our first real two games in a week, with one of them being on the road, and we just want to make sure we can continue and keep our levels consistent.”
After two straight wins over top-five opponents, Florida and North Carolina, the Terrapins are focusing on a road test against local foe, UMBC, on Wednesday.
Senior Caroline Steele was in good spirits despite going down in the second half of Sunday’s game with a knee injury after landing awkwardly. She quickly brushed off any concerns and simply said she will be fine moving forward.
“We’re tired,” Reese said when asked about the quick turnaround this week. “Some of the girls played a full 60 minutes, or close to ... I didn’t play in it and I was tired.”
The main goal for the Terrapins during this stretch of two games in four days is simply to play the highest level of ‘Maryland Lacrosse’ they can and keep on pushing forward.
Up next: UMBC Retrievers (2-1)
The Retrievers come into Wednesday’s match having played three games, all decided by three goals or less. After a season-opening overtime victory at American and a three-goal win at VCU, UMBC suffered its first loss of the season at home to Mount St. Mary’s due to a last-minute goal.
Senior goalkeeper Carly Tolino has led the way in net for the Retrievers, posting a save percentage of 60.9 through three starts. On offense, UMBC has been led by seniors Lauren McDonald, with six goals, and Payton Van Kirk, who has notched five goals and three assists so far in 2019.
Last season, Maryland handled its business against UMBC in a 21-12 victory at home. The Retrievers, however, hung with the Terrapins during a 7-6 run in their favor across the first 14 minutes of the second half.
“We know that their team is hungry and they’re going to come out fighting,” Reese said of UMBC. “You can’t look past anything. You have to focus on the moment.”
Opening draw from UMBC Stadium is set for 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday and will be streamed here.