It’s always difficult going into a game where the opponent is undefeated and highly ranked in the nation, which is what No. 16 Princeton women’s lacrosse team (5–3) discovered Wednesday night against No. 2 Maryland (11–0). Maryland’s Jen Giles and Kali Hartshorn scored four goals each, and Princeton fell 15–7 to the Terrapins in College Park, Md.
Princeton and Maryland have a longstanding rivalry; the two teams have played every year since 1993. Maryland won last year’s contest 11–10, and Princeton went on to win its next six games and the Ivy League title.
This year, Princeton got off to a slow start. In the first three minutes, Maryland was able to put three in the net to take a 3–0 lead. Princeton finally got on the board with a goal from Princeton’s senior attacker, Julia Haney, assisted by sophomore attacker Kyla Sears.
The Tigers were unable to match the score of the Terrapins before Maryland put in another three goals. By the end of the first half, Princeton was trailing by four to Maryland’s total of eight goals.
Going into the second half, Maryland furthered its lead against the Tigers with the first four goals of the second half to take a 12–4 lead and turn the game into a blowout. The Tigers managed another three points, including two in the final minute by senior attacker Elizabeth George, to make the final score a more respectable loss of 15–7.
Leading the Tigers was George, with three goals and one assist. Haney contributed two goals and an assist, and Sears added another goal and two assists.
Hartshorn and Giles led Maryland with their four goals apiece, and Brindi Griffin added one goal and three assists for the Terrapins.
With the defeat, the Tigers are on a two-game losing streak; they fell to Brown 12–11 at home Saturday after beginning the season 6–1.
In spite of the loss, the Tigers are working their way to winning the Ivy League and securing a bid to the NCAA tournament. Their biggest competition in the Ivy League is Penn (9–2), who is currently ranked fifth.
“Wednesday wasn’t our best game,” Haney said. “But we’re super excited to have a chance to get back out on the field soon!”
The Tigers don’t play until April 2, when they’ll take on Villanova at Sherrerd Field at 7 p.m. Then, on the following Saturday, the team will be traveling to Dartmouth, looking to secure a win in the Ivy League. No. 20 Dartmouth defeated Brown earlier this month, a team Princeton fell to last Saturday by a mere one point.
Like last year, Princeton will hope a loss to Maryland can spark a series of wins in the final stretch of the season.