Just two days after claiming their fourth straight Atlantic Coast Conference women's lacrosse title, Maryland returned home Wednesday to close out the regular season with yet another resounding statement:
They're not finished just yet.
Playing for the fourth time in six days, No. 5 Maryland overcame an early deficit with seven straight goals over a span of 15 minutes, quickly pulling away from No. 16 Georgetown before surviving the Hoyas' second-half surge in a 19-10 win.
"We wanted to just come in here and make a statement," senior Kristy Black said. "Just show everyone it's not like a one-weekend thing. We wanted to keep the momentum going into playoffs so we can win it all."
Black (Glenelg) scored a career-high five goals in her final regular-season game, while fellow senior Kelly McPartland added three — one shy of her career best. Junior Alex Aust added four goals and three assists for the Terps (17-3), who finished their regular season with six straight wins, including the final three against ranked opponents.
Maryland, which has earned one of eight automatic bids to the NCAA tournament, will learn its seeding when brackets are announced May 6. Until then, the Terps will relish their first significant chance to rest in a week.
"We haven't been in this situation before. I mean, we hadn't even played three games in four days ever since I've been here," coach Cathy Reese said. "There was a point in the second half when I thought we were showing our fatigue a little bit. We needed to have a timeout and get our heads on straight there."
Trailing 12-2, Georgetown (8-7) tried to make a game of it by turning up its defensive pressure and opening the second half with four straight goals. The Hoyas pulled to within 13-7 when Meghan Farrell scored off a feed from Kelsi Bozel (Notre Dame Prep) midway through the second half.
But Maryland, which held a 23-8 advantage in draw controls, soon regained control by maintaining possession, then scoring the game's final three goals to seal the win.
"We had our moments through the night, but I think for the most part I'm pretty proud of this group," Reese said.
The challenge for the Terps now shifts from playing on weary legs to keeping their momentum intact while going the next two weeks without a game. Players believe the team has grown markedly throughout the course of this season and still has something to prove.
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"We're trying to just play our best and get better every game," Aust said. "We believe we can be unstoppable when we play our best."