Eloise Clevenger assists to Libby May will likely become familiar sights this season for Maryland women’s lacrosse.
Maryland won the draw after Saint Joseph’s evened the score at one apiece, and Clevenger took it all the way to the goal before passing it to a trailing Libby May in traffic. The ball somehow found May’s stick, who spiked it in for a goal to give the Terps a lead they wouldn’t look back from.
But it wasn’t May — Maryland’s top returning scorer — who led the charge for the Terps. Nine different Maryland players scored, with a lot of fresh faces starring for coach Cathy Reese’s squad.
Maryland women’s lacrosse dismantled Saint Joseph’s, winning 15-5, with its nine different goalscorers. The Terps were in total control on both sides of the field, getting off 37 shots while the Hawks mustered just 16.
Of those 16 shots, 13 were on goal, 11 of which happened while reigning IWLCA Goalkeeper of the Year Emily Sterling was in goal. Sterling showed why she earned her hardware, allowing just three goals and racking up eight saves before being subbed out with ten minutes left to play.
Of Maryland’s 15 goals, three came from sophomore Jordyn Lipkin, tying her career high for goals in a game. Lipkin also tied her career high for ground balls, snagging four for Maryland in a do-it-all performance.
“[Lipkin] goes hard, she gives us everything she has all over the field and to see her now have a year of experience and come back, she’s just a little more confident,” Reese said. “We’ll see some great things from her this season for sure.”
Junior Chrissy Thomas also notched three goals after coming into the game without a collegiate goal to her name. Other new contributors were freshman Jaylen Rosga, who scored twice in her debut, and redshirt freshman Kennedy Major, who picked up four ground balls and caused two turnovers.
Both Thomas and Rosga each had a goal assisted by Clevenger — who on top of already having strong chemistry with May and senior attacker Hannah Leubecker, showed that she’s already gelling with the newcomers after just one game.
Clevenger had four of Maryland’s eight assists and looks to be a catalyst of the offense with the departure of Aurora Cordingley. It was Clevenger’s fifth time tying her career high of four assists, while she added a goal of her own as well.
“[Clevenger’s] selflessness and her vision of the field is just so good. She really sees the field well, she sees us well and she’s always ready to give the ball to her teammates to score instead of her, so it makes her a really big threat,” Thomas said.
Going into the season, Clevenger was named by teammates as someone who could make waves for the Terps, and early signs point to a big season for the junior.
“I’m definitely excited to see Eloise Clevenger step up this season,” May said before the season. “I’m very excited to see where she takes [her bigger role], she’s such a talented, smart player, so I’m very excited for her this season.”
And while Cordingley’s departure affects Clevenger’s role, she wasn’t the only departure for Maryland. Another loss for the Terps was three-time captain and midfielder Grace Griffin.
Cathy Reese is no stranger to seeing her former players or assistant coaches on the opposing team’s sideline. Just nine months after Griffin’s five-year Maryland career came to an end, she made her assistant coaching debut at SECU stadium — but not for the Terps.
The Maryland to Saint Joseph’s pipeline is in full effect. Saint Joseph’s head coach Alex Kahoe played for Maryland prior to spending time as an assistant coach. And just like Griffin, former Maryland All-American Caroline Steele joined Kahoe’s staff immediately after her playing career ended in 2019.
Current captain and midfielder Shaylan Ahearn said she wanted to mirror a lot of Griffin’s leadership skills ahead of the season. And thus far, Reese has been impressed with her upperclassmen’s impact on all of the freshmen.
Reese and the Terps hope that leadership and development continue, as they hit the road to face No. 5 Syracuse Friday.