At a few minutes past 11:00 am local time Saturday morning, the visiting second ranked Maryland Terrapins and fifteenth ranked Northwestern Wildcats took to Lakeside Field for Maryland's first field hockey conference game as a member of the Big Ten. The conference season didn't start as Maryland hoped it would. Northwestern defended their home field coming away with a 3-2 upset win.
The Wildcats had the opening possession but the Maryland's Alyssa Parker got off the first shot just a minute and a half into the game. However, Northwestern's goalie Maddy Carpenter made the first of her eight saves on the match. The game flowed into a possession battle for the next 10 minutes or so before the Terps picked up the first penalty corner in the 12th minute. Maryland ran the play for Steffi Schneid but the Wildcats defended well and, in a bit of ominous foreshadowing, the Terps came away empty.
Three minutes later, the Terrapins picked up another chance on their second penalty corner. They ran a more conventional play with Sarah Sprink taking the direct shot but Carpenter was once again up to the task and kept Maryland off the board.
Maryland's pressure continued with another shot by Parker in the 20th minute, a penalty corner in the 22nd minute and so on as the Terps continued to press forward and pepper Carpenter. By the time the half was 25 minutes old, Northwestern's goalie had notched five saves.
After nearly 28 minutes of Maryland dominance, it would be Northwestern who opened the scoring. The home team was awarded a penalty stroke (akin to a penalty kick in soccer taken from a spot seven yards from goal) and Lisa McCarthy took advantage giving the Wildcats a 1-0 lead with just over six minutes to play that held up through the end of the half.
Coming out of the locker room the Terps needed just over two minutes to even the score. Anna Dessoye found the net for her third goal of the season. Maryland's joy was short lived,however, as Northwestern took the lead back just a minute or so after the Terrapins' score.
For Maryland their general m.o. is attack, attack, attack. In the 45th minute, it paid off. Freshman Moira Putsch, who is becoming more and more integral to the Terps' offense, scored on a rebound off a penalty corner to once again even things up.
While Maryland didn't shoot with great efficiency (they out shot the Wildcats 23-5), the main facet where the Terps were ineffective on the day was a spot the coach said she hoped they would continue the success they had begun to show last weekend - converting their penalty corner opportunities. Maryland's inability to convert these chances would come to haunt them late in the game when, in the 66th minute, the Wildcats converted on their only penalty corner of the game to grab a 3-2 lead. The Terps converted on only one of their eight penalty corners in the second half - a frame that included three chances in the last two minutes, two in the last minute with one of those coming w ith time expired - and finished just 1-12 on the day.