After stating she thrives playing at home in College Park, Maryland women’s lacrosse senior captain Megan Whittle registered a hat-trick in under 11 minutes Wednesday against UMBC. She ended the first half with five goals.

But the All-American didn’t stop there, finishing with seven goals to pace the Terps to a 21-12 victory over UMBC.

“There is nothing better than College Park,” senior Megan Whittle said. “I’m from Maryland. I live and breathe lacrosse and that’s why you’re here. If you’re good and you’re from Maryland you come here.”

Whittle wasn’t the only senior to make an impact as Maryland’s offense was also fueled by two goals and four assists from midfielder Jen Giles and three goals from midfielder Nikki Sliwak.

“We saw a lot of really good things from our whole team tonight,” coach Cathy Reese said. “We got a lot of different players in there, a lot of people contributing. Our intent today was to come out and just get a little better with every play.”

Maryland controlled the first half, winning 15 of 18 draws, outshooting UMBC 28-11 and converting five of seven free position shots. The Terps went into the locker room with a controlling 12-5 lead.

But the Retrievers battled back.

UMBC attacker Carolyn Jamison and midfielder/attacker Lauren McDonald scored two goals each in their effort to challenge the defending champs in the second half. But even though the Retrievers found the back of the net seven times in the half, it wasn’t enough.

Maryland’s depth and experience showed as they responded to every potential UMBC run.

“Our captains this year are really leading on the field by just never giving less than all they have,” Reese said. “Even if they’re tired, they’re still going.”