Junior attacker Caroline Wannen’s high school career was full of achievements.

A three-year varsity letterwinner, she scored 208 goals and tallied 63 assists. She was a two-time first-team All-Gazette selection. She was named a U.S. Lacrosse All-American. And she was selected to play on the Under Armour Underclassmen All Star team.

After weighing her options, Wannen opted to join the Terrapins’ women’s lacrosse program, though she knew she might not receive immediate playing time.

The Terps returned seven starters before winning the title in 2014. All 10 starters then returned last season to help the team win its second consecutive national championship.

Wannen likely could have opted to attend a different school and receive the chance to start as a freshman, but she wanted to play in College Park. The lack of playing time served as motivation, she said. And after serving a reserve role her first two years, Wannen is becoming a regular in the Terps’ rotation.

“I knew coming in it was going to be hard to get playing time,” Wannen said. “Obviously, we are the best team in the country the last two years. I knew it was going to be difficult.”

As a freshman, Wannen played in 10 games before appearing in 11 contests last season. But now she has taken on a larger role.

In the season opener against William & Mary, Wannen was one of the Terps’ starting midfielders, scoring a goal and recording three assists.

“The last two years, I’ve been itching to get out there whenever I get a chance,” Wannen said. “Now I’m out there and it’s just more exciting. You want to get better and that helps a lot.”

Junior midfielder Zoe Stukenberg’s time in College Park has been different, as she was a starter her first two seasons. Before she earned the spot, though, she needed to beat out her teammates.

“It’s awesome, but it’s also super intimidating coming onto a team that’s as talented and decorated as this,” Stukenberg said. “You realize you’re playing with these girls who can take your game to a whole other level immediately.”

Head coach Cathy Reese said Wannen is expected to remain one of the Terps’ starting attackers.

“As a coaching staff, we’re counting on these [returning] players to take a strong role,” Reese said Feb. 5.

As she battled for a starting job, Wannen said practicing against the Terps’ defense — which ended last season as the fifth-best unit in the country — made her a better player.

When players choose to play for the Terps, Wannen said, they understand they might not start as freshmen. But that’s just part of the process.

“My decision to come here was less about myself and more about being a part of something bigger,” Wannen said. “Maryland is the best place to come and play lacrosse in college. That definitely factored into my decision.”