As two-time defending Division I champions with only two losses since the start of the 2014 season, the University of Maryland women’s lacrosse team has not encountered many difficult games in the past few years.
Wednesday night’s matchup against Johns Hopkins proved to be one of those rare nail-biters.
After entering halftime with a three-goal deficit, the No. 1-ranked Terps rebounded by outscoring the Blue Jays 7-2 in the second half to squeak out a 10-8 victory. It was the team’s first win by fewer than four goals since an 8-7 triumph at North Carolina on February 27.
Junior Zoe Stukenberg and sophomores Taylor Hensh and Megan Whittle led a well-balanced Maryland attack with two goals apiece, while Stukenberg, senior Taylor Cummings and freshman Caroline Steele each tallied one assist. Senior Dene’ Dimartino starred for Johns Hopkins with five of the team’s eight goals.
After a scoring drought of nearly seven minutes to start the game, the Blue Jays struck first on a goal from senior Jenna Reifler with 23:06 remaining in the first half. Whittle’s first goal of the night tied things up less than a minute later, and the teams each scored twice more to result in a 3-3 game with 12:36 left.
The Terps were held scoreless from then until the end of the half, while Johns Hopkins doubled their output with three more goals. A free-position shot from Dimartino, her fourth of the game, extended the lead to 6-3 19 seconds before halftime.
Maryland continued its offensive struggles at the start of the second half, scoring just one goal in the first 7:55 while allowing another to the Blue Jays. This was followed by a three-goal burst in the next five minutes that tied the game at 7 with 17:12 remaining.
The comeback did not deter Johns Hopkins, as Dimartino’s fifth goal made it 8-7 with 13:21 left. Maryland responded with two goals in 1:08 by sophomore Kacie Longo and Hensh in the seesaw battle before an insurance goal from Cummings capped the scoring with 2:59 remaining.
With the hard-fought win, the Terps improve to 10-0 on the season. They will look to keep their perfect record going this Saturday in a Big Ten showdown on the road against Rutgers.