Coming off a loss in the season opener to No. 1 University of North Carolina, the Boston University women’s lacrosse team will face another powerhouse Wednesday, No. 2/3 University of Maryland, in a road contest.
The Terriers (0-1) are seeking their first win after losing 18-8 in against the Tar Heels (2-0) Saturday. The Terrapins (2-0) come into the game having won their first two games by a combined margin of 29-8.
“We’re looking forward to a good game,” said BU coach Liz Robertshaw. “We’ve gotten to watch some video on Maryland and they’re a strong team. They shoot well and they are athletic, and I think it’s going to be another great test for us.
“First we go and play the number one team and then come back next and play number two. I think it’s a good opportunity for us to see where we are and see if we’ve learned some things from this past weekend.”
North Carolina outscored BU 15-4 in the first half of Saturday’s game, resulting in a first-half goalie change. Senior goalkeeper Christina Sheridan was pulled after almost 18 minutes after allowing eight goals in favor of freshman goalkeeper Caroline Meegan, who made three saves and allowed 10 goals.
The Tar Heels got 35 shots in the game and converted 51 percent of their attempts. Against another talented scoring squad like Maryland, BU will look to limit scoring chances.
“We need to play great team defense,” Robertshaw said. “I thought we were a little overly aggressive against North Carolina. In this game, we need to be a little bit more protective and play smarter against a more athletic passing group like [Maryland].”
The Terrapins have two of the most dynamic midfielders in the country in freshman Zoe Stukenberg and sophomore Taylor Cummings. Through two games this season, the duo has combined for 15 of the team’s 29 goals.
Stukenberg is a two-time U.S. Lacrosse All-American and the Player of the Year last year in Howard County, Md., Cummings, the reigning Atlantic Coast Conference Freshman of the Year, scored 57 points in her freshman campaign.
“They’re great players,” Robertshaw said. “I get to work with Taylor [Cummings] on the U.S. team, and I know she’s a threat, as is Zoe [Stukenberg]. We’re going to make sure that we’re doing a good job doubling and keeping an eye on their attack. For us, we need to communicate well, play good defense, and limit the looks on cage that they can get with the shots that they want.”
After an eight-goal performance Saturday, BU will also look to apply more pressure on the offensive end. The Terriers managed 17 total shots against the Tar Heel defense and won just 36 percent of their draw controls. Senior attack Elizabeth Morse and junior attack Lindsay Weiner were limited to six shots, with only one goal to show for their efforts.
“We just need to be aggressive,” Robertshaw said. “A lot of teams playing Maryland have been unable to possess the ball for long periods of time. Maryland does a great job of keeping teams out and that makes some attackers tight and makes them second-guess shooting because they might not get another chance.”
As the young season begins to mature, the Terriers will certainly learn more about their team. After facing the No. 1 and 2 teams respectively, BU will have had the opportunity to gain confidence against the remaining teams on its schedule, including the new teams it will face in the Patriot League this season.
“I think we’ve already learned who we are and what we need to do,” Robertshaw said. “We’ve already seen that we can take more risks on attack. And it’s paramount that we trust our teammates to have each other’s backs, whether it’s a defenseman who is double-teaming and finishing plays, or if it’s in the midfield transitioning the ball, or if on attack it means being more aggressive and encouraging each other to take chances.
“We’ve seen it and we’ve talked about it, I think it’s a pretty quick turnaround. I’ve seen two good days of practice and I want to see that in tomorrow’s game as well.”