Welcome to The Diamondback Sports Digest. Every week, we send you a rundown of the latest Maryland athletics news.

Maryland men’s lacrosse has experienced its fair share of ups and downs this season.

The Terps won their first four games of the year before losing three of the next four in March. Now, they’ve ignited again as winners of their last three games. The Terps have a chance to claim at least a share of the Big Ten regular season title pending next weekend’s results.

In this week’s newsletter, we’ll break down where the men’s lacrosse team stands, what in the world is happening to the baseball team, a former Maryland track star’s stellar international accomplishment and more.

Maryland men’s lacrosse is on fire

Daniel Kelly looks for a pass during Maryland men’s lacrosse’s 14-11 win over Rutgers on April 29, 2023. (Riley Sims/The Diamondback)

No. 5 Maryland extended its win streak to three games with an 11-6 win over Rutgers on Saturday. The victory secured a top-two seed and, subsequently, a bye in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals for the Terps.

Coach John Tillman’s squad once again used its powerful defense to earn the win, holding the Scarlet Knights to their lowest scoring output of the season. Maryland boasts the second-best scoring defense in the conference and plays a grinded-out style of lacrosse — five of its eight wins have been by two goals or less.

The Terps face No. 3 Johns Hopkins next in their regular season finale on Saturday. Maryland can earn a share of the Big Ten regular season title with a win over its in-state foe.

Maryland baseball is in a nightmare stretch

Jacob Orr runs during Maryland baseball’s 6-5 win over Indiana on April 7, 2024. (Rohan Pandit/The Diamondback)

Three weeks ago, Maryland was toward the top of the Big Ten standings and looking to keep its nearly three-year conference series win streak alive.

The Terps are now enduring their worst stretch of the season. They went 1-5 this week with losses to Georgetown, UMBC and Northwestern. Two of those programs ranked outside the top-100 in RPI entering their respective matchups. UMBC was No. 224.

Maryland dropped the first two games of its weekend set in Evanston, including a one-run loss in extra innings on Friday, before winning 9-8 two days later to avoid a sweep. Northwestern was winless in the Big Ten four days ago, but the conference’s bottom feeders took advantage of the Terps’ recent struggles to claim two victories.

Maryland — which has lost eight of its last 11 games — needs to turn things around quickly if it wants to make a fourth straight NCAA regional appearance.

Former Maryland track star wins gold medal

(Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics)

Thea LaFond became Dominica’s first world champion when she won a gold medal in the triple jump at the 2024 World Athletics Indoor Championship.

A Silver Spring resident and graduate of John F. Kennedy High School, LaFond attended Maryland from 2012 to 2015. She racked up multiple All-American honors, a conference championship and the 2015 Big Ten Field Athlete of the Year.

LaFond had a long road to get to her eventual crown, finishing last in the 2016 Rio Olympics while also coming up short in 2020. Sports reporter Alexa Wootten spoke to LaFond and those close to her to learn how the gold medalist made history.

Best bits
• Both Maryland basketball teams saw a player enter the transfer portal this past week — Hawa Doumbouya from the women’s team and Mady Traore from the men’s team.
• Maryland wrestling wrapped up its season a few weeks ago, and despite only winning two Big Ten dual meets, it was the program’s best season since joining the conference. Wrestling reporter Michael Stamatos explained why the Terps may finally be on the upswing.
• Maryland women’s lacrosse lost two of its last three games, most recently falling to Penn State, 12-11, on Saturday. After going 18 years without losing a home conference game under Cathy Reese, the Terps have now dropped two in a row.
• Maryland softball has lost seven straight games dating back to April 6. The Terps have struggled on the mound and at the plate in coach Lauren Karn’s first season.
• Although Maryland women’s lacrosse has struggled, defender Sophie Halus carved out a big role on the opposite side of the field. Read about how Halus’ speed lets her spearhead the Terps’ transition.

Stat of the week
Emma Silberman will compete at the NCAA gymnastics nationals on Thursday. The last time a Maryland gymnast took part in the event was April 21, 2001, five days before Silberman’s birthday.

Quote of the week
“It’s not as sexy as the ‘21 class,” coach Alex Clemsen said of Maryland wrestling’s unranked 2024 recruiting class. “Rankings are for beer drinking and shit talking. They don’t mean a whole lot.”