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Women's lacrosse notebook: three freshmen helping Terps to unbeaten start

Maryland's freshmen have been one of the big reasons the No. 1 Terps, the two-time defending national champions, have gotten off to a 4-0 start. Caroline Steele, Megan Taylor and Jen Giles have earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week in the first four weeks of the season.

Giles, a Mount Hebron graduate, won this week after her first multigoal game in the 20-5 win over Hofstra. The midfielder scored twice, both times on free-position shots. She's played all four games and is sixth on the team with four goals and one assist.

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Taylor, a goalie from Glenelg, was also Defensive Player of the Week last week after a complete-game 8-7 win over then-No. 2 North Carolina in which she made eight saves. She had four in the first 12 minutes to set the tone. Taylor has a 5.03 goals-against average and a .500 save rate.

Steele, a Severn graduate, earned the first freshman award of the season. The midfielder began her Terps career with two goals in a 19-7 win over William & Mary. She's fourth on the team with seven goals after starting all four games.

Undefeated Princeton aiming to regain form: While much of the women's lacrosse world is focused on many of the relatively new programs gaining ground in Division I, another grand old college program has taken a solid hold on a top 10 ranking.

Princeton, a three-time national champion which has been to the NCAA tournament more than any other program except Maryland and Virginia, is 4-0 and ranked No. 6. Last year's Ivy League champions reached the NCAA quarterfinals and they're aiming for the final four for the first time since 2004, when they fell to Virginia in the national final after winning back-to-back titles.

Two local players are helping coach Chris Sailer's Tigers hold opponents to 7.5 goals per game: senior Liz Bannantine (McDonogh) and junior goalie Ellie DeGarmo (Bryn Mawr). Both have been Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week in the past month.

Bannantine, last week's winner, played a key role in shutting out Dartmouth's top scorer in an 11-5 win Saturday. DeGarmo won after she had 13 saves and held then-No. 5 Virginia to seven goals in a season-opening 14-7 upset on Feb. 20.

Two local freshmen have also been starting for the Tigers: defender Alex Argo (Bryn Mawr) and midfielder Elizabeth George (McDonogh).

The Tigers, who travel to Notre Dame on Sunday, play at Loyola Maryland on March 30 and at home vs. No. 1 Maryland on April 13.

Nobody wants to be the favorite in this rivalry: "Upset" probably isn't the correct word for unranked Loyola Maryland's 9-7 win over No. 9 Virginia on Wednesday night at Ridley Athletic Complex. In this rivalry, it would have been more surprising if Virginia had come out on top.

The underdog has won seven straight times and 19 of 27 in the series' history. Last year, Loyola was ranked 16th and beat the No. 8 Cavaliers, 13-12, in Charlottesville.

Quick hits: Maryland leads Division I in scoring offense with 16.25 goals per game. ... Towson ranks second in scoring defense, allowing just 5.2 goals per game. … The Terps' Taylor Cummings (McDonogh) is third in caused turnovers with 3.0. … DeGarmo is second in save percentage at .608. ... Maryland's Zoe Stukenberg (Marriotts Ridge) is shooting 79 percent and has put every one of her shots on goal.

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