After attacker Brindi Griffin deked her defender and scored in Maryland women’s lacrosse’s matchup against Princeton last week, her teammates were ecstatic. Midfielder Erica Evans raised her stick in delight. Attacker Catie May mimicked Griffin’s moves behind goal with her hand, marveling at the cut backs that broke her free.
Meanwhile, Griffin simply smiled and walked back to the draw circle. For the junior, impressive displays have become more standard than standout.
During a four-game stretch beginning March 21 against Penn State, Griffin has notched 16 points — whether from doling out assists or scoring herself — to give her teammates plenty of opportunities to celebrate. When the No. 2 Terps face No. 8 Virginia on Wednesday, Griffin will again be a key part in an offense in which she has taken a larger role.
“She’s really good behind the cage,” defender Lizzie Colson said. “She’s super shifty.”
Griffin usually operates around the net, finding cutters and setting up shots for her teammates. This season, however, as Maryland has begun to employ a faster-paced offense, Griffin’s created more opportunities to score. She’s been converting them, too, tallying seven goals in her last four outings, along with nine assists.
Last season, Griffin slotted home 21 goals and 21 assists with a .438 shooting percentage. She’s scored 13 goals this year, along with providing a team-high 15 assists.
Over the last four games, Griffin is shooting 50 percent, raising her season average to 43 percent after a slow start to the year. She was instrumental in the Terps’ 20-3 thrashing of Rutgers on Saturday, pouring on four goals in the first 31 minutes.
“I loved how offensively we were able to generate a lot of scoring output,” coach Cathy Reese said.
Griffin’s success was particularly noteworthy because of the struggles of her teammates. While attackers Kali Hartshorn and Caroline Steele shot a combined 2-for-12 against the Scarlet Knights, Griffin scored her four goals on just five shots.
“It was just sticking it around her,” Griffin said. “Doing a good job of that.”
After Steele picked up a knee injury on Feb. 24 against North Carolina, she has been in and out of the lineup. Before Steele’s injury, Griffin was shooting 13 percent and had amassed only three points in three games of the season. But Griffin has helped fill the gap as Steele works toward full playing time.
Midway through the first half against Penn on March 13, Griffin received a pass at the top of the arc. While she often creates opportunities from behind the net, the Edgewater native drove toward goal, beat two defenders and fired home with a sidearm finish.
She added another goal, an assist and two groundballs during the 14-9 win over the Quakers, her second pair of goals in three games. Two games later, Griffin torched Penn State for five assists, playing both in front of and behind the cage.
“Our coaches are so into us being able to play everywhere,” Griffin said. “Going up top, going in behind.”
With Steele limited to only 20 minutes against the Scarlet Knights — with further minutes restrictions likely as she recovers — Griffin will continue to play a key role as a scorer and distributor.
And her teammates know it. Although Griffin’s flashy goal against Princeton left some teammates in awe, midfielder Jen Giles was far from surprised.
“Brindi’s a great player,” midfielder Jen Giles said. “She can do that all day.”