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No. 7 Maryland field hockey falls to No. 1 Iowa, 2-1

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The Terps gave up two second half goals and couldn’t find an equalizer.

Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics

With just over 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter, No. 1 Iowa maneuvered its way into the heart of No. 7 Maryland field hockey’s defense, and Hawkeyes’ forward Maddy Murphy made the difference in the top-10 showdown in College Park.

Murphy fired a high shot that got past the outstretched arms of Terps’ goalie Noelle Frost as she extended the Hawkeyes advantage to 2-1, a margin that Maryland eventually wouldn’t be able to recover from.

Maryland couldn't find an equalizer after Murphy’s goal, as the Terps fell 2-1 to the Hawkeyes on Sunday afternoon in College Park.

Maryland field hockey came into its second consecutive top-10 matchup as it was set to take on Iowa, hoping to get back on track after suffering a 3-1 loss to No. 4 Northwestern back on Sept. 30.

The first quarter was filled with intensity and speed, as both Maryland and Iowa took turns moving the ball up and down the field with no resistance, yet neither team was able to break through early on.

Maryland was the first of the two powerhouses to contribute on the offensive end in the game, as it recorded the lone shot within the first four minutes of the game.

It was obvious from the beginning that Iowa’s game plan was to pack the inside of its defense to eliminate all sorts of angles for Maryland’s athletes to exploit. The Terps weren’t able to find much in the first quarter en route to a scoreless period.

Maryland sophomore defender Rayne Wright played outstanding defense in the first quarter, as she used her body on the sideline to trap her opponent and steal the ball. She was a big reason as to why Maryland held Iowa scoreless in the first quarter.

After relinquishing an uncharacteristic three goals in the previous game, Maryland’s defense turned the pressure and intensity up a notch as it looked to keep Iowa off the scoreboard.

In the second quarter, Iowa received the first two penalty corners of the game. Maryland defender Riley Donnelly made a few key plays on those penalty corners and negated any chance of a Hawkeyes goal.

After Maryland was able to get some stops on defense, it started to turn its momentum into some offense.

On the second consecutive penalty corner, Maryland’s star midfielder Brooke DeBerdine made a beeline to get into the passing lane to disrupt the Hawkeyes shot at a goal midway through the second frame.

Then with just over three minutes remaining in the second quarter, Maryland’s defense showcased the same strength it used in the first quarter when it held the top-ranked Hawkeyes out of the cage on four consecutive penalty corners.

Maryland’s defense held Iowa out of the net in the first half, becoming the first team to accomplish that feat against Iowa.

The third quarter saw each team increase their defensive intensity while seeking to get the ball in the middle of the defense to outlet the ball to their aggressive forwards for scoring opportunities.

However, it wasn’t until late in the quarter that Iowa broke through for the first time.

With just under 30 seconds remaining in the third quarter, the Hawkeyes abruptly ended the tie. Iowa’s Leah Zellner received a pass that bounced in the air that she was able to control, and she fired a shot into the right side of the net to give the Hawkeyes the 1-0 lead.

After almost going another four quarters without a goal, Iowa could not hold down Maryland’s offense much longer.

With about 12 minutes remaining in the fourth frame, Maryland’s Riley Donnelly delivered a strong shot that narrowly got past Iowa’s goalie, to tie the game at one apiece.

And even though Maryland did find an initial equalizer, Iowa did not waste any time to respond to the Terps’ first goal of the game.

With 10 minutes remaining in the game, Iowa’s Maddy Murphy broke through and gave Iowa the lead, 2-1, which would ultimately be too much for the Terps to overcome.

The Terps struggled to convert on their penalty corners in the fourth, as star freshman Hope Rose narrowly missed two shots to tie the game for Maryland.

Maryland was unable to get a shot into the cage before the clock hit zero, as time eventually expired as the Terps’ comeback hopes came to an end.

Three things to know

1. Maryland held Iowa scoreless in the first half for the first time this season. The Terps’ defense was on display in the first half, as they used maximum effort and hustle to hold the Hawkeyes out of the cage. The Hawkeyes had registered at least one goal in the first half of every game this season. The Terps did a great job of defending in the first half of the game against Iowa and it set the tone for the rest of the way.

2. Despite the loss, the Terps’ defense remains a strong part of the program. Even though Maryland lost for the second straight game in a low-scoring contest, its defense was still the best part of its game. Maryland has conceded three or more goals in a game just four times this season. The Terps had another good defensive effort on Sunday against the Hawkeyes and gave up just two goals.

3. Maryland has a tough schedule ahead. Despite just facing then-No. 4 Northwestern followed by No. 1 Iowa, Maryland still has a challenging slate ahead. The Terps face six more ranked opponents in No. 14 Virginia, No. 6 Rutgers, No. 16 Connecticut, No. 25 Michigan State, No. 2 Michigan and No. 18 Ohio State. Maryland will have to find a way to bounce back after not being able to upset either Northwestern or Iowa.