After two weekends of tough games on the road, Maryland women's lacrosse is excited to be home for its matchup against UMBC on Wednesday.
Attacker Megan Whittle said hearing her parents in the crowd, seeing Terps fans and looking forward to the tailgate food after the game make playing at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex special.
"I love it here. I thrive here," Whittle said. "That's the family that Maryland is here and that's why I think it's a big advantage playing at home for us."
Twenty-nine of the Terps' 36 players are Maryland natives, so players' families are often in attendance at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex, where the Terps have won 67 straight games.
Maryland emphasizes a focus on its own savvy as one of the country's best women's lacrosse programs, and being at home heightens that confidence.
Coach Cathy Reese said that mindset is the first step to fixing the team's turnover mistakes from its 16-15 loss to North Carolina last weekend, which was the Terps' first regular-season defeat since 2014.
"We looked a little hesitant numerous times against Florida [and] Carolina," Reese said, "where we need to just believe in ourselves and trust our teammates."
Reese's players seemed to have regained that mentality by Tuesday's practice, and stressed that they're prepared to face a top-three defense in UMBC.
"We're focused on what we need to do to win. We don't care who the team is, we're going to play the Maryland way, and that's the best way to do it," defender Meghan Doherty said. "We're really going to focus to getting back to our old selves and the way that we normally play … playing together."