Maryland women’s lacrosse averaged more than 12 goals per game over its first four outings, which included two matchups against ranked opponents.

The Terps’ attack features 14 different goal scorers, rounding out a deep and experienced unit capable of posting high scoring figures.

Still, their offensive numbers are not quite where coach Cathy Reese wants them to be.

“We haven’t even been close to 50 percent shooting this season,” Reese said. “And that’s one of our standards, one thing we expect to be here.”

Maryland is shooting 35 percent this season, a notable decline from its mark of 42 percent a year ago. The Terps haven’t eclipsed 40 percent in any of the first four games.

Maryland hasn’t had a lack of opportunities, but have failed to complete the chances they’ve created in attack. The Terps rank inside the top 20 nationally in shots on goal per game and are top-10 in total shots.

[Maryland women’s lacrosse’s lack of discipline led to Florida loss]

Maryland has even struggled in favorable scenarios. It’s converted on just three free position opportunities through four games after scoring 69 in 2023. It’s also shot 3-for-17 with player-up advantages.

For the Terps to meet the goal it set and convert on over half of its shot attempts, they’ll need to improve on both free position and player-up opportunities.

“I think the ball is kind of in our court. We need to control what we can, and we need to finish on our opportunities,” Reese said. “We’re real close to being where we want to be.”

Another ranked matchup nears when Maryland travels to No. 10 Denver this weekend. The Pioneers, who boast a stout defense, are coming off their first-ever national semifinal appearance.

Denver’s shot-stopping unit has kept its first four opponents quiet. The Pioneers haven’t conceded more than eight goals in any of those games and give up an average of seven per game, good for fifth-best in the country.

[No. 5 Maryland women’s lacrosse falls in overtime to No. 16 Florida, 13-12]

Denver gave up seven goals against the Terps a season ago in its first-ever victory against them

“Our one-goal game was very low scoring last year. Denver prides themselves on their defense,” Reese said. “We’ll be challenged, but we’re ready. We’re prepared for it.”

Converting on its free position opportunities will be the key for Maryland to earn its second ranked road win in four games.

Hannah Leubecker, Jaylen Rosga and Maggie Weisman are the only three Terps to hit the back of the net from eight meters. The Pioneers have already given up 13 goals from 25 free position shots in four games.

Maryland knows Denver’s defense will be difficult to break down, just as it was last year. But in the loss, the Terps’ converted from a free position opportunity twice on eight attempts. They will need to improve on that number to exploit the Pioneers’ defense.