Corners and posts - and I'm not talking football - played a large role in a field hockey win and a women's soccer loss. Maryland's top ranked field hockey team cruised to a 9-0 rout of the overmatched Georgetown Hoyas on senior day at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex while at Ludwig field the women's soccer team fell 1-0 in overtime to the Boston College Eagles.
If I were still FHFAN and FHFAN only, I would have likely gone to the field hockey game. However, in my role as a writer for TT covering multiple sports I'm sometimes forced to make choices because of scheduling conflicts. Today I chose women's soccer over field hockey because, in the scheme of Terrapin sports, the latter was a more important contest. So I'll start by reporting what I saw.
For the second time in as many home games, Coach Jonathan Morgan opened his postgame remarks by saying, "I'm proud about our kids. It stings for them right now. It stings for all of us because we played great," because for the second time in as many home games the Terps dropped a tough one goal loss to an ACC foe at home.
Unlike that Duke game, though my notes show a dangerous first possession for Maryland, they indicate that Boston College had the better of the run of play for most of the first half. Morgan pointed out, "They came out in a 3-5-2 which was a bit surprising for us because they've been playing a 4-4-2 all year so in that beginning part of the game where we were struggling a bit their five were giving our four fits. It's just a numbers game. But our backs did a good job of recognizing that Hayley[Brock] and Ashley [Spivey] were on their three defenders it was going to be difficult for them to keep up with us so we found a couple of opportunities to one where Hayley got grabbed." [My notes say she was grabbed 3 times on a run down the right side with no foul called.] "I think that was a wake up moment for BC," he added, "and so they decided to go back with four defenders, four in the midfield and two up top and the kids started getting a rhythm at that point." And my notes indicate that as well. The Terps generally had the better of it beginning late in the first half and carrying on into the second when they certainly created more dangerous opportunities than the Eagles.
Though BC held sway in the run of play for most of the first half, the teams played with an open flow that created several opportunities for both squads. A bit of a unique exchange occurred in the last two minutes of the first half. Maryland organized an attack deep into the box that opened some space for Alex Doody at the left post from inside ten yards but her shot at 43:17 hit the post and kept Maryland off the board. The Eagles went on the counter attack and with 34 seconds to play, BC forward Stephanie McCaffrey the third leading scorer in the ACC, spun her way clear and had a good look at the goal but her shot hit the post and the half remained scoreless.
The Terps came out of the locker room in rhythm and with intensity. A minute and a half into the second period Ashley Spivey launched a shot that was blocked but the Terps kept the ball in the attacking zone and thirty seconds later, Spivey got off another shot that BC goalkeeper Alex Johnson got one hand on as she dove for the ball and managed to deflect it off the right post. The Terps continued their pressure and Johnson made another save on Brock's header just twenty seconds later. The Eagles, whose offense features two of the ACC's top three goal scorers, got their only good look at the goal in the fifty-fourth minute when the ACC's top goal scorer McKenzie Meehan took a cross from the left and had a good look from about seventeen yards but Maryland keeper Rachelle Beanlands made the diving save. On the counter, Spivey won a contested ball near midfield and played a through ball to Brock who outraced three Eagles to gain possession but the senior couldn't quite clear enough room to get off a solid shot and Johnson again made the save.
Brock had a chance again in the sixty-second minute on a cross from Spivey but her attempted header went high. Perhaps the key moment of the game for Maryland came in the eighty-second minute when in the midst of a Maryland attack a BC defender went down in the box and put her hand on the ball to cushion her fall and perhaps the only two people at Ludwig field who failed to see the foul were the referee and the sideline official. Still, the Terps maintained their composure and managed two more very dangerous chances. The first came on a terrific run down the right side by Brock who managed a powerful shot but Johnson made a diving save. The shot caromed out to Barger at the right corner of the eighteen but the sophomore launched a shot that went well high. The second came with just under three and a half minutes to play when Spivey played a beautiful cross from the left to Kristen Schmidbauer in open space at the top of the eighteen but she pushed the one timer wide and regulation ended in a scoreless tie.
Maintaining the momentum they had built in the second half, the Terps had the first chance of the overtime about two and a half minutes in but Alex Reed's shot went wide. BC countered quickly and drew consecutive corner kicks. Beanlands knocked the first attempt high into the netting above the goal. But the Terps failed to aggressively attack the second corner and Zoe Lombard was able to deflect the ball into the right corner of the goal past an outstretched Beanlands. The loss drops the Terps to 5-7 in ACC play and complicates their chances of a top eight finish and a spot in the ACC tournament. Maryland closes out the regular season Thursday night at 7 when they host the Pittsburgh Panthers.
Over at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex, the top ranked Terrapins faced off against an overmatched team of Georgetown Hoyas. The Terps started the day with a 16-1 record while the Hoyas came in with a 2-14 mark. Nine goals later, Maryland moved to 17-1 and Georgetown fell to 2-15. Here are some brief highlights: Six of Maryland's seven first half goals came off penalty corners albeit the one scored by Hayley Turner, one of six seniors feted on Senior Day, was technically scored on a rebound off the corner. The seventh came on a Terrapin counter off a missed Hoya corner when Jill Witmer made a long run up the sideline and passed to fellow senior Shelby Sydnor who scored her third goal of the season. Ali McEvoy, another of the six seniors, scored twice off penalty corners. Sarah Sprink (a sophomore) scored the first, fifth, and sixth goals for the Terps all coming off penalty corners. The hat trick is the second of her career.
The Terps added two more scores in the second half. Mieke Hayn scored off an assist from fellow freshman Brooke Adler to stretch the Terrapin lead to eight. Sophomore Shari Jones closed out the scoring early in the sixty-second minute on a shot from the right post also on a pass from Adler. The other two Maryland seniors being honored play on the defensive end and didn't figure in the scoring. Christine Knauss, a redshirt senior from Lutherville started and came up with a defensive save and Natalie Hunter, who has been a stalwart in goal all season played only twenty six minutes and wasn't tested. In all, coach Missy Meharg was able to play 21 of the 23 players on her roster. Only Melissa Cutry - a freshman who appears to be having a redshirt year - and Katie Gerzabek, who went down with an injury in Friday night's game against Virginia, didn't see action for the Terps. Maryland closes out the regular season Saturday afternoon at Duke.