While the Maryland women's lacrosse team was pleased with its season-opening victory last weekend, the Terps admit they can improve.
They'll have the chance to build on that 13-3 win at William and Mary when they face Georgetown on Saturday in Washington.
"Our focus is on what we can do better from where we were [last] Saturday," coach Cathy Reese said. "We saw a lot of really good things on Saturday from us, and so many areas to improve, but that's what we expect in February."
Shooting is one aspect Reese wants the Terps to improve in. She said she wasn't impressed with the team's shooting efforts against the Tribe as the Terps put 26 shots on goal, converting 13. She knows the Terps face a tough test after Georgetown's goalkeeper made 14 saves in the Hoyas' season opener.
Reese expects the Hoyas will play a different style of defense than the Tribe did, utilizing a zone scheme. Reese said breaking down a zone defense will require better attempts on goal, especially with the limitations of the newly implemented 90-second shot clock.
"Offensively we're hoping to really move the ball well and just finish on a lot of these opportunities that we didn't last weekend," Reese said.
Last season's leading scorer, attacker Megan Whittle, scored one goal on five shots against the Tribe. She believes the team performed well against William and Mary, especially defensively, citing the three goals allowed as an "awesome feat."
However, Whittle said the players are still getting used to playing with each other and establishing more cohesion on the field. That's been a bigger emphasis than worrying about their opposition.
"We're focused on ourselves a bit right now," Whittle said. "We're focusing on getting our offense in a good rhythm and also keeping our defense really strong."
Whittle said finding that rhythm hinges on integrating newer players and helping them progress. Having freshmen become comfortable in expanded roles at the college level will also help the Terps improve, Whittle added.
As the season continues, Whittle anticipates the players will develop.
"As a freshman, you grow with each game, and that's what I experienced the most two years ago," Whittle said. "Each game is a learning experience for us, and we use the week leading up to it as practice to improve and get all aspects of our game ready so we can compete."
Part of that development comes from the diversity the players see in opponents, which is something Reese aims to take advantage of against Georgetown.
"Early in the season, you start to see different things from every team that you play," Reese said. "That hopefully helps us to become better as a team and more prepared to tackle whatever challenge is next."