Coach Cathy Reese knew her 2023 attack would look a lot different than it did in 2022 — almost any team would after losing a player of Aurora Cordingley’s caliber.
Instead of finding a Cordingley replacement, Reese has yearned for a balanced attack where all seven players can be a scoring threat.
Wednesday’s performance showed why.
Five different Terps registered multiple points in No. 10 Maryland’s sixth straight win, a 15-11 victory over No. 17 Princeton. A 5-0 Terps run to begin the second quarter gave Maryland a lead it’d hold onto for the remainder of the game, and its wide array of options created a level of unpredictability that made it hard to defend.
“That’s the kind of offense we wanna have that everyone on the field can be dangerous at any time. When you do that it opens up everybody else around you,” Reese said. “Those opportunities are created because everyone’s able to step up. We’re seeing more and more of that … I like our progression [and] I like where we’re headed.”
It was an uncharacteristic start for the Terps — who rank second in the country in draw control percentage — tallying just three draw controls to Princeton’s eight in the first period. But strong shooting helped the Terps exit the quarter with a 6-4 lead, missing just two attempts.
The second quarter saw an abrupt change, as Maryland flipped the switch on its woes in the draw circle and won the next six.
Thankfully for Reese’s squad the Terps shooting picked up right where it left off, beginning the quarter on a 5-0 run. Maryland ultimately entered halftime with a 12-5 lead.
They did so despite a sloppy start in which the Terps had three turnovers in the first eight minutes.
Turnovers had been Maryland’s Achilles heel as of late, with 45 in its three previous games entering the day, but the Terps cleaned it up with just three more in the first half. But with ten in the second half, Reese’s squad finished the game with 16 giveaways, their third-highest mark of the season.
Eloise Clevenger led the way with six points (two goals, four assists) in the first half and added a goal in the third quarter. The junior attacker, who leads Maryland with 45 points, now has 20 in her last three games.
Clevenger has primarily served as a feeder, with 29 assists on the year. But Reese has been calling for Clevenger to be more aggressive as a shooter, and she’s responded with eight of her 17 goals coming in her last three games.
But Clevenger was far from the only Terp to stuff the stat sheet, as Libby May scored six and Hannah Leubecker scored three in the winning effort. Five different Maryland players registered multiple points in the victory.
“I think it’s great that we have different people stepping up every game,” May said. “It’s super exciting to see that and I think that’s gonna be crucial going into the postseason.”
Perhaps the most impressive stat line was from Abby Bosco, who scooped up five ground balls, won six draws and caused four turnovers.
With Bosco and the rest of the defense’s strong performance, Princeton was limited to 11 goals, tying its second-lowest output of the season. The defensive unit made Emily Sterling’s job easier, but the reigning goalkeeper of the year stepped up and notched a joint season-high 15 saves.
For Bosco’s fellow All-American defender, Marge Donovan, it wasn’t just any ordinary game. The Princeton transfer was able to square off with her former team.
“This game was always about Maryland, what we do on the field [from] whistle to whistle. I’m wearing that Maryland jersey, I’m a Terp and I’m so glad to be a Terp,” Donovan said. “But afterwards, it was great to see my old teammates, there’s some great people, the coaches are great, so it was really nice to see them.”
The victory caps off Maryland’s nonconference schedule, as the Terps enter the tail end of its regular season with five consecutive Big Ten opponents.