The No. 1 Maryland women have a wealth of players who can finish, and Alex Aust knows how to set them up perfectly.
The senior attacker has dished out 17 assists to seven different players in the last three games. In Tuesday’s 17-10 win over UMBC, she set a Terps single-game record with seven assists, breaking the mark held by seven different players including herself.
Terps coach Cathy Reese said Aust became especially adept at feeding from behind the cage last season when she dished out 52 assists, third on Maryland’s all-time single-season chart behind Jen Adams’ 60 in 2001 and 55 in 2000.
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A second-team All-American last season, Aust set Atlantic Coast Conference tournament records with 17 points and 13 assists. Her five assists in the quarterfinal win over Virginia Tech were a single-game tournament record.
“She really organizes our offense,” Reese said. “Last year, she embraced the role of feeding more from behind, but this year she’s added to that dimension and she’s doubly dangerous where she can score as well. If the ball’s in her stick, she’s making things happen. She has an eye for the field and finding open people and she has great stickwork where she can find her openings as well.”
In the last three games – wins over Virginia (18-10), Hofstra (16-11) and UMBC (17-10) – Aust has accounted for 30 points, just one point fewer than the combined total goals scored by those three opponents.
With so many finishers on the team, the Bullis graduate has a lot of options, but she can finish too. She leads the Terps (6-0) in goals with 23 as well as in assists with 20.
“This year, she’s become more dangerous because she’s such a scoring threat too,” Reese said. “If you try to take away one part of her game, the other part gets that much better.”