Throughout this year’s roster there are nearly ten family connections to fellow teammates or alumni. Some, like Giles and Hensh, have relatives on the team. Others, like Kelsey Cummings, had siblings or relatives who are now alumni of the program. Some players are daughters of former Terps players, like Caroline Steele who’s mother, Gretchen, played for the Terps in the 1980’s.
“You always get to come back and see at least one or two of your teammates at games,” alum Brooke Griffin, who’s sister is currently a sophomore, said. “And for me to come back and see Brindi put on the jersey is really cool for me also.”
The family atmosphere helps the lacrosse program maintain their high standards of play year after year. With such a cohesive group, it’s easier to keep a calm head when under pressure. Against Virginia on April 4 the Terps let the Cavaliers creep back into the game in the second half, but they stayed calm and pulled out the victory.
“If we’re in a little bit of a funk and the other team is coming back, all it takes is a timeout, bringing everyone together and pumping each other up,” Caroline Steele said.
The Steele family celebrates the Terps' 2017 NCAA Championship.
After each home game, the team meets up with family, friends, and alumni for a communal tailgate in the adjacent parking lot regardless of the outcome. These tailgates offer an opportunity for the Terp family to come together and relax.
“Aside from winning, there’s nothing more important to the Terps than food,” Cummings said. “It’s a chance to unwind with not only teammates, but friends and family. It’s like a big family meal.”
These moments aren’t rare for the Terps. Reese and the coaching staff help the team stay relaxed throughout the season. Even on game day the Terps are loose and joking around with each other just focused on playing their best, most fun brand of lacrosse, Brooke Griffin said.
So while winning is a mainstay of the Terps historic program, that’s not what Reese focuses on with the team. Instead of creating a competitive environment that pits teammates against each other, Reese and the coaching staff create the perfect environment for student-athletes to be successful together, Taylor Cummings said.
“Cathy is the first to say that in 20 years you don’t remember the wins and losses,” Cummings said. “Instead you remember the relationships and the memories you create with your loved ones on the team.”
Maryland's Family Ties under Cathy Reese
- Jen Giles - Taylor Hensh
- Julia Braig - Lindsay Biondi (‘17)
- Kelsey Cummings - Taylor Cummings (‘16)
- Brindi Griffin - Brooke Griffin (‘15)
- Shebly Mercer - Alice Mercer (‘16)
- Julia Salandra - Taylor Salandra (‘15)
- Caroline Steele - Kristen Lamon (‘15), Gretchen Lamon Steele (caroline's mother)
- Steff Holmes - 3 brothers played for the men and Abby Caso (‘10) is her sister-in-law
- Nicole Aust (2012-15), Alex Aust (2010-13)
- Brandi Jones (2008-11), Brittany Jones (2008-10)
- Mattie Meridith (2012-15), Liz Law (1985-88)
- Abbey Clipp (2012-15), Becky Clipp (2004-07)
- Martha Raver (2004-07), Kearny Rver (2006-09)
- Jen Greenberg (2004-07) - Kate Greenberg (‘06), Emily Greenberg (Team Manager, 2008-09)
- Taylor Zanelotti (2005-08), Meredith Zanelotti (2005-08)
- Lynne Cooper (2006-09) Sara Cooper (2008-11)