The Maryland women’s lacrosse team hasn’t lost a Big Ten regular season game since joining the conference in 2014-15. It’s won two of three Big Ten tournaments.

The Terps are the favorites in the conference again this season and begin their championship defense Saturday against Johns Hopkins.

Attacker Megan Whittle said the team is ready for a repeat.

“Competing for a conference championship is our goal as a team every year,” she said. “Being able to start that with Hopkins — which is almost a home game being in Baltimore — is very exciting.”

Like Maryland, Johns Hopkins is one of the newer teams in the Big Ten, beginning play last year.

The Blue Jays went 3-3 in conference play last season and lost their opening Big Ten tournament game, 19-16, to Maryland.

Johns Hopkins has developed as a rival for the men’s team, and Maryland coach Cathy Reese hopes to extend that to the women’s game.

“[There is] excitement surrounding the game on the men’s side,” Reese said. “Hopefully the women’s side will continue to build and grow and develop [that].”

The Blue Jays are currently unranked but received votes in the Inside Lacrosse poll and swept the most recent Big Ten weekly awards.

Johns Hopkins Attacker Maggie Schneidereith, reigning conference Offensive Player of the Week, has posted five points in each of Hopkins’ past three games, all wins.

Schneidereith, Freshman of the Week attacker Aurora Cordingley and Defensive Player of the Week goalkeeper Haley Crosson seem to make the Blue Jays a formidable opponent, but Reese isn’t especially concerned.

“They’re good; every team we play on our schedule is good,” Reese said. “It’s no different in preparing for them than it is for any other team.”