By Sydney Fazio
Maryland women’s lacrosse returned home Wednesday to take down the UMBC Retrievers 21-12.
This confidence-boosting win comes after a close loss to No. 8 North Carolina in overtime. It was the first loss for Maryland in 57 regular season games.
The Terps were ready to come back for redemption, and being under the homefield lights was something the team looked forward to.
Maryland shot out of the gates with a vengeance — senior attacker Kacie Longo scored just barely two minutes into play, making it the first goal of the game and Longo’s first goal of the season. It wasn’t long before UMBC’s game leader in points, Sara Moeller, answered with a goal of her own.
The Terps took control offensively, moving the ball around to score 12 points in the first half. The women dominated in ball control, taking 28 shots in the first half compared to only 11 for UMBC. Maryland also deflated UMBC in draw controls, winning 15 of 18.
The women were able to draw fouls, getting crucial free-positions in both halves. Maryland capitalized, scoring goals on 9 of 12 free-position attempts.
Senior attacker Megan Whittle credits the team’s success to being back at home and giving the team the extra confidence boost they needed.
“There’s nothing better than College Park, I’m telling you. It’s just so exciting, my grandma is the first one to hug me after the game, my family’s there, that’s why I came here, you know. I’m from Maryland, I live and breathe lacrosse, and that’s why you’re here,” Whittle said.
Junior midfielder Meghan Siverson echoed Whittle’s sentiments about playing at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex.
“It’s definitely always great to be back in College Park playing,” Siverson said. “Having the home field advantage is really nice, and coming off of two grass games, we were definitely happy to be back on our turf and knowing our field.”
In the second half some of the team’s younger players got to experience the Terps stomping grounds, with players like freshman midfielder Kylie Davis and sophomore midfielder Nikki Sliwak notching goals of their own.
Maryland head coach Cathy Reese said being able to get some of her younger players in was crucial to the confidence factor that this young team needs.
“It was a good learning experience for a lot of our players, especially our younger players,” she said, “our freshmen that were able to get out there, that haven’t played in a couple of games.”
It’s come full circle for Whittle, who remembers being a young Terp, but has established herself as a leader that’s working to boost the young team’s confidence.
“I had people do that my freshman year, I was thrown in as a starter with a bunch of All-Americans and I had to figure it out as an 18-year-old, playing against the best in the nation,” she said. “Now I’m the 21-year-old telling everyone it’s okay, and we can do this.”
Reese hopes that Maryland can take control of their committed turnovers for their next game, being that it’s been a pattern she’s recognized as something the team can improve on.
Maryland women’s lacrosse will meet with Hofstra University on Saturday at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex at noon. The Terps will look to get their fourth win of the season.