It was fitting Julia Hoffman broke down her Terps lacrosse pledge on Mother’s Day early this month.
Her mother, Annemarie, got her started (from scratch, both mom and daughter), in Howard County youth ball at the tender age of 4, and she has never looked back.
“No, I was the first one [in the family to play lacrosse], and my mom just started then, too,” Hoffman said. “She said she would be my coach, and I didn’t even know what it was. But I said, ‘sure.’ And I just fell in love with it.”
Now Hoffman has another love, too, the Terps, as she is one of five freshman early pledges, to Coach Cathy Reese and the surging No. 1 seeded Terps, who advanced to next weekend’s Final Four (yet again) in Philadelphia. So far, it is the nation's largest, and greatest, freshman recruit haul.
Hoffman joined the early wave at UMD, pledging when she was just 14 years-old last month after attending the Terps-PSU regular-season finale, which clinched the BIG Ten regular season league title for the Terps. She celebrated her 15th birthday two weeks ago.
“Well, after the trip I realized I had just fallen in love with Maryland. So whenever I thought about where I would be in four years in college, I just pictured myself at Maryland,” Hoffman said. “And I just love the coaches, and all the coaches I interacted with were such personable people and approachable. And so I decided that was where I exactly wanted to be.”
So after returning home with her parents that night, she told dad Jeff and Annemarie she wanted to commit, which she did.
“They won, and that was awesome. And afterwards I talked to Cathy and she was telling me about how she was going to come out to our Century [High School] game that next Monday,” Hoffman said again of that personal touch.
At the time she pledged, Hoffman had offers from Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, and had a visit coming up to Princeton just before she decided. This season, she had 39 goals and 12 assists, while she also plays basketball and field hockey at McDonogh.
“Just their [Maryland’s] style of play is amazing,” Hoffman said. “All the girls there are just something that I would….they are role models, someone I would look up to, would like to be like,” Hoffman said. “Also I love that it is close to home, because I would love to have my parents come to all my games because they are my biggest supporters. And it’s close enough to home that I can still see my parents, but it’s also far enough away that I can still have that college experience. And everyone there seems so happy and good about it [being at Maryland].”
On the early class of pledges, some of whom she already knows and has played with or against, Hoffman said:
“I love this group because the one girl [St. Paul's] Sarah [Ayers], she has been on my lacrosse team since sixth grade. And we’re such good friends. And [Garrison Forest's] Kennedy Lynch is such a nice girl and she’s local, so I see her at various games and stuff. And then I played with the two Long Island girls [Madison Riley and Madison Sanchez) in national events, and they are both such great players.”
McDonogh was 20-0 at the time of the interview, and heading into the title game, which it won two Sundays ago with Hoffman providing a hat trick, all in a come-from-behind win to punctuate a perfect season.
“I think I’ll just bring my McDonogh background, and everything the McDonogh coaches have taught me,” Hoffman said of what she will carry forth to UMD in several years. “And I think I will take the pride that McDonogh has, and hopefully that will be good for Maryland because McDonogh also has a streak like Maryland has.”
On the field, Hoffman is a strong, left-handed attacker, while she is also good in transition/defense. She's learned from some of the best, including former Terp/current club coach Taylor Cummings while playing for M&D Black 2018. Hoffman stands 5-foot-4, and also competed for the Brine National Team, as well as the 2015 Elite 120 Champion Team.
“And I always look for the open player and enjoy assisting,” Hoffman said.
And on committing so early -- any sport, any age, even at just 14 -- she said:
“I think it is a little bit of both. I think it is a little scary already knowing where I am going to college and having some of those expectations, but I also think its motivation for me because I know I have to work as hard as I can to be able to go to Maryland,” Hoffman said. “I think it is just very exciting also knowing that I am going to be able to play with such great girls. So I think it is more of a blessing.”
It’s early yet, but Hoffman said she may study pre-law at college.
Her younger sister, Emma, also plays for M&D Black, the 2021 team.
Away from lacrosse, Julia Hoffman always had a dream of being a scuba diver, so at the age of 13 she passed the test to be a certified PADI Open Water diver. The Florida Keys, Costa Rica, Mexico and The Outer Banks are some of her favorite family stops.
Meet Terps Lacrosse Commitment Julia Hoffman
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