Maryland women’s lacrosse’s bench erupted when backup goalkeeper Emma Moss made a save against Georgetown’s Hannah Seibel late in its Wednesday matchup.
With a 16-5 lead over the Hoyas and a little less than eight minutes to go, coach Cathy Reese subbed in Moss for the first time since the season opener. Several other bench players entered with her.
Moss didn’t allow Georgetown a single goal in the final minutes of play to secure the Terps’ 17-5 victory. Backup Terps attacker Maggie Root scored a point-blank goal via an assist from Nikki Sliwak, another reserve, for just her second career goal.
It was the type of display that bolstered the Terps’ belief in a bench unit that’s gotten few opportunities to prove itself this year.
“They put in just as much work as we do and it’s rewarding for everyone, not just the people that are getting in, to see them on the field,” said defender Lizzie Colson, who came off the bench last year before transitioning into a starting role this season. “It’s so fun to see everyone get that time and do so well.”
Reese has stressed team chemistry and the notion that the team should play for each other, especially with 11 new players this year.
But after a stretch of games against top 10 teams, Wednesday was the first time many of those players could clock in valuable minutes on the field for the Terps. When No. 3 Maryland (9-1, 1-0 Big Ten) visits Michigan (5-6, 1-1 Big Ten) on Saturday, however, the reserves could see more time.
In the Terps’ last game against the Wolverines — a 20-7 rout — backup players participated for much of the second half. They contributed eight goals, three assists, four ground balls and four draw controls.
Despite that blowout victory, Maryland players and coaches aren’t taking anything for granted going into this year’s road bout. Reese said the Terps can’t bank on a similar result as last year given Michigan’s new coaching staff.
“Every team is dangerous, and every team is out to beat Maryland,” attacker Megan Whittle said. “The mentality for Maryland is bringing it every game to play a really pretty game of lacrosse and demand excellence of ourselves, no matter what team is playing against us.”