Coach Cathy Reese pointed straight at attacker Brindi Griffin, shouting “good job” at her attacker who continued to spark Maryland women’s lacrosse against Hofstra.
Griffin had just put away her third goal for the Terps — one of her season-high five tallies — to extend her team’s early lead.
It wouldn’t be the last time she found the scoresheet, as the senior was a critical piece for Maryland in its second consecutive game, taking down the Pride 16-11 on Saturday.
“Just go to goal,” Reese said. “That’s what I was trying to get her to do … sometimes we’re focusing so much on keeping the ball moving quick that you forget that you can challenge yourself. … I wanted her to take advantage of that.”
Attacker Libby May opened up scoring for the Terps (3-3), sinking a free-position shot. However, midfielder Alexa Mattera leveled shortly after with one of her own.
The Terps had to overcome one of the best teams in the nation on draw controls in Hofstra, and they struggled to win draws early on, finding themselves down for the entire first half.
Mattera followed up with her second goal on the Pride’s next possession. And Hofstra won back the next draw, but a turnover from the Pride gave Maryland a chance to get back in the match.
Griffin found her first of five goals on that possession, driving through the middle of the crease and slotting a shot past Hofstra goalkeeper Jess Smith.
“Something we came out focusing on was that attacking mindset,” Griffin said. “We did an awesome job at that from the start.”
The Pride continued to own controls, skewing possession in their favor. But goalkeeper Maddie McSally put on another clinic in net, tallying her career-high 16 saves.
“I just want to have fun and be confident,” McSally said. “I have an awesome defense in front of me that lets me do that.”
The Terps began to find their rhythm from there, spearheaded by Griffin.
The senior scored three straight goals after tallying her first, two of which were unassisted.
“It’s incredible that I get to watch her play lacrosse,” McSally said. “You see that every day in practic,e but when she comes out on the field and does that, it’s crazy to watch.”
Griffin went quiet for the rest of the half, primarily because it was Kate Sites and Hannah Warther who took control of the offense for Maryland.
The two midfielders combined for four goals in the late stretches of the first half. Sites’ second strike came from a bullet pass courtesy of Kali Hartshorn, whose assist was her 200th career point.
Hofstra would score its first goal in over 20 minutes, as Katie Whelan put a free position shot past McSally. The late goal would leave the score 9-3 at the half in favor of the Terps.
Hofstra came out swinging in the second half getting a quick goal from midfielder Taylor Mennella on a free-position shot.
Griffin got herself back on the score sheet, though, converting a free position. Reese has said that she wants her team to convert at least half of their free positions, but Maryland fell short with just 5-of-13 free positions finding the back of the net against the Pride.
Hofstra found some momentum, scoring two goals in a row for the first time in the match, however, a free position goal from midfielder Shaylan Ahearn swung the momentum back to the Terps.
“I don’t think we played particularly well,” Reese said. “We had moments where we were awesome … the second half Hofstra changed their [defense] and we got caught back on our heels.”
The Pride’s leading goal scorer, Alyssa Parrella had been kept silent for most of the match, despite taking 11 shots in the opening half. She finally found her way into the game with a goal in the middle of the half.
Both squads went on a defensive lockdown from there, making it tough for Hofstra to find a way back into the match. Darby Welsh added a goal, set up by Catie May for an easy put-in shot.
Welsh opened the gates for Libby May, who was able to complete her first career hat trick from a free position goal and an open-play goal assisted by her sister Catie.
“They came out in the second half in the zone, Libby is awesome against that,” Griffin said.
Whelan quickly responded for the Pride by scoring on a free position shot. Libby May wasn’t done, though, as she connected with her sister again for her career-high four goals.
Parrella and Mattera each found the net within a minute, providing Maryland a bit of a scare. But the Terps’ defense held strong as the team walked away with a second consecutive win.