On a frigid and blistering afternoon at James M. Shuart Stadium, the Hofstra Pride women’s lacrosse team fell at the hands of the top-ranked University of Maryland Terrapins 18-7.
Hofstra, who has faced off against the national power in every season since 2010, has yet to defeat the Terrapins during that span. Before the game against Hofstra, Maryland was riding high off a win over top-ranked North Carolina in a rematch of last year’s NCAA finals.
“You know, Maryland is the number one team in the country for a reason,” said Hofstra head coach Shannon Smith. “They have a lot of scoring weapons on offense. They’re a tremendous program with great defense and fundamentally sound with great finishers on their side so it was a great battle for us.”
In last year’s matchup, the Pride surrendered 12 scores to the Terrapins before Pride attacker Lindsay Scott knocked one in with around five minutes remaining in the first half. On Saturday, Hofstra wasted no time as Morgan Knox opened up the scoring three minutes in to give the Pride a 1-0 lead. Maryland quickly answered back, and the two teams swayed back and forth as the Terrapins led 4-3 halfway through the first half. Then the Pride transition defense faltered and Maryland started winning draw controls in bunches. Hofstra made small mistakes to turn over the ball in front of the opposing goal, and Maryland ran it back to score. The Terps put up eight unanswered points to close out the first half up 12-3.
“I think they started to break away a little bit,” Smith said. “They got a three-goal lead on us and I think in that three-goal lead we had three or four opportunities to score that we missed or that we dropped. Against a team like Maryland, you can’t do that. You can’t have those mistakes. Those are things you have to capitalize on.”
Maryland continued its strong play in the second half. The Terps pressured the Pride defense and pelted shot after shot at Hofstra goalie Maddie Fields. Maryland’s 41 shots are the most taken by any of Hofstra’s opponents this season. The halftime lead proved to be too much for Hofstra to overcome as Maryland outscored the Pride 6-4 in the second half.
Knox, Lexi Lenaghan and Alexa Mattera were offensive stars for the Pride. Knox racked up a hat trick with three scores while the other two each registered a pair of goals.
“I definitely think that everyone on the offense contributed and that the way we play together wasn’t just so that it was one person’s goal. I scored my goals because of [the help from] my offense,” said Knox, a senior attacker. “We were all moving for each other, cutting for each other. I think that was a big part of our game and a big focus going into the game.”
Alyssa Parrella, the Pride’s leading scorer so far this season, was held scoreless on one shot. The midfielder came out of the game in the first half with what seemed to be a pretty scary right leg injury. She ended up returning at the end of the first before being held out of the second half of action.
“We’ll get Alyssa recovered going forward for our next game, but she fought hard out there when she was out there playing,” Smith said.
Hofstra’s record falls to 2-2 with the loss. The Pride’s next matchup comes against another nationally ranked squad in Johns Hopkins University. The Blue Jays sit at No. 18 in the country in the Inside Lacrosse poll.
“Overall, we’re really happy with the way that we played with our heart and hustle on the field that’s something we want to continue going forward,” Smith said. “We learned a lot and we’re looking forward to our next one.”