2023 NCAA Lacrosse Rankings: No. 2 Maryland (Women)
2023 NCAA Lacrosse Rankings: #2 Maryland (Women)
Thursday February 2nd, 2023 | Beth Ann Mayer | University
College Women Maryland NCAA Lacrosse Rankings
PHOTO BY JOHN STROHSACKER
The 2023 college lacrosse season is upon us. As is our annual tradition, we feature each team ranked in the Nike/USA Lacrosse Preseason Top 20.
Tune in to USALaxMagazine.com every day of the week this month for new previews, scouting reports and rival analysis.
NO. 2 Maryland
Record 2022: 19-2 (6-0 Big Ten)
Final ranking (2022): #3
Trainer: Cathy Reese
Abby Bosco, D, Gr.; Libby May, A, Sr.; Emily Sterling, G, Sr.
The Terps have two USA Lacrosse Magazine Preseason Position Player of the Year in defenseman Abby Bosco (89 DC, 26 CT, 63 GB) and goalie Emily Sterling (7.87 GAA, .531 SV%). Sterling was also the 2022 IWLCA Goalie of the Year. Libby May is the Terps’ top recurring goalscorer, finishing second in goals (64) and points (78) to Aurora Cordingley last year.
Marge Donovan, D, Gr. (Princeton); Clancy Rheude, D, R – Jr. (Albania); Kori Edmondson, M, Fr.; Kennedy Major, D, R-Fr.
The Terps have plenty of talent returning, but new faces are arguing for changes in the depth chart – the most notable on paper: Marge Donovan. Donovan was one of the most important transfers, having broken Princeton’s all-time record for draw control (214) during her five-year career.
Degrees: Aurora Cordingley, A, Grace Griffin, M; Torie Barretta, D
Transfer: Emily Lamparter, G (Clemson)
STORIES TO WATCH
The Veterans’ Offensive is taking shape.
Tewaaraton Aurora Cordingley (67G, 51A) switched from Hopkins, leading the Terps in scoring and bringing them back to the Final Four after a rare year-long absence. Reese didn’t recruit the younger players who returned because she thought she would have Cordingley, but the attacker’s bonus year left a mark on the terps that she believes will continue into 2023.
“The most important thing Aurora did was raise everyone’s level,” Reese said.
Seniors May and Hannah Leubecker (62G, 9A) complement each other, with May’s dodging skills putting Leubecker — a veteran cutter and finisher — on the receiving end.
Eloise Clevenger (32G, 21A) played behind the cage alongside Cordingley last year and will reign in 2023.
“The ball will go right through them,” Reese said.
Jordan Lipkin (20G, 9A) and Shannon Smith (25G, 11A) push the pace on the transition.
Will anyone score on this defense?
Maryland, who finished second in goal defense in 2022 (7.81), likes to boast about being Defender U on social media — and the terps aren’t trolling. Winning seven Big Ten Defenseman of the Year in seven conference seasons gives Maryland bragging rights. His most recent winner, Bosco, is back this season and the best just got better.
“There’s more to her,” Reese said. “I feel like the ball hits the ground and it’s her and she’s huge in transition.”
Bosco is joined by a former enemy in Donovan – the two were once on opposing sides of the fierce Penn-Princeton rivalry. In addition to defending, Donovan will help Shaylan Ahearn (115) in the tie.
Starters Brianna Lamoreux, Aiden Peduzzi and Maddie Sanchez are all returning, and the defense gets even more depth from Clancy Rheude, who joined from Albany in 2022 and was in the redshirt, and Kennedy Major, a touted rookie defender.
Not really. Will anyone score on this defense?
Maryland’s 1-on-1 defense puts on a clinic every game. But when it gets past some of the game’s best defenders, offense will have to contend with Sterling. Her return sets Maryland apart from many of its top five competitors. Other powerhouses like UNC, Northwestern and Stony Brook will bring in a new netminder in 2023 – either a freshman or a transfer. But Maryland is bringing back its star, which ranked second nationally last year.
“We’ve seen how important goalies are in shot clock times,” Reese said. “Teams have to shoot. Having that last line of defense is a goalkeeper like Emily Sterling – it makes me smile when I think about it.
But Sterling is more than the nation’s best stopper – she has a sharp visual field and IQ and serves as a true anchor for defense.
“We have talented and strong defense and a great goalie who can lead from behind,” Reese said. “It’s a great basis to start the season.”
WHAT COMPETITORS SAY ABOUT THE TERRAPINS
“They’re pretty scary this year. Defensively, the Big Ten Defender of the Year returns. They obviously played the transfer portal. If they can get players to mesh like they did last year, they will be very successful. It will be difficult to score goals against them. Offensively they bring back a lot of firepower. From top to bottom, they have perhaps one of the most talented squads in the country.”
BEYOND THE BASICS
POWERED BY LACROSSE REFERENCE
There might not be a team more excited to see COVID’s season disruptions in the rearview mirror than Maryland. In 2019, the Terps ranked first in both opposing offense and opposing defense. Their draw unit was fifth and their goalkeepers second. In 2022, those ranks were third, seventh, seventh, and first. Between them lay two unforgettable seasons, at least by the standard Cathy Reese has established at College Park.
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