No. 6-seed Maryland field hockey was tied 2-2 with No. 3-seed Penn State in the fourth quarter. Then for the first time all game, the Nittany Lions took the lead.
Penn State’s Anna Simon secured a loose ball and ripped a shot that made its way around Maryland goalie Noelle Frost, who was out-of-position. The ball eventually went into the net to give Penn State its first lead of the game with a 3-2 advantage, a lead it would never relinquish.
Simon’s goal was the game-winner as Maryland went on to lose by one goal in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament, falling 3-2 on Thursday evening. The Terps will now look to the NCAA Tournament after an early exit from the conference tournament.
The Terps were aggressive right out the gates, earning two penalty corners within the first five minutes of the contest as they brought early pressure to the Nittany Lions’ defense. Maryland’s back-to-back penalty corner attempts to get on the board were denied, though, on two brilliant saves from Penn State goalie Brie Baracco.
Maryland continued to bring it to Penn State as it earned its third penalty corner of the game with seven and a half minutes left in the first quarter.
Junior midfielder Emma DeBerdine inbounded the ball to forward/midfielder Anna Castaldo, who shot a strike towards the goal, only for senior Bibi Donraadt to deflect the low shot into the right side of the cage to give Maryland a 1-0 lead in the opening quarter.
However, Penn State responded immediately.
The Nittany Lions received their third penalty corner with under four minutes in the first quarter, which it quickly took advantage of. Simon then was able to set her feet to deliver a strike that barely got past the outstretched hands of Maryland goalie Noelle Frost to even the game at one apiece.
There were a total of seven total penalty corners assessed in the first quarter as both sides were busy in the offensive ends. Each team was able to use quick ball movement to spread its opponents’ defense out, which ultimately spread the field and led to a fairly open game.
Soon after the start of the second frame, Maryland locked in and found a way to take the lead.
With just over seven minutes remaining in the second quarter, Big Ten Freshman of the Year Hope Rose made her introduction to the Big Ten Tournament. Graduate student midfielder Julianna Tornetta delivered a pass to Rose on Maryland’s fourth penalty corner and then the freshman released a signature shot that found its way into the back of the cage to put the Terps back on top 2-1.
The Nittany Lions would not stay down for long despite Maryland’s second goal of the evening.
Simon stripped the ball from Rose and drifted to her left with just two minutes until halftime. Simon was able to finish off the play she set up, as she sent a nifty backhand shot that veered into the far right side of the cage to tie the game at two.
The third quarter saw each team struggle to find its footing after an electric first half, which was highlighted by the aggressiveness and scoring from both sides.
Donraadt almost got the Terps on the board in the third frame by turning defense into offense. The aspiring doctor jumped into the passing lane and stole the ball, soon after finding herself with a one-on-one opportunity with the goalie. The shot from Donraadt flew above the net and Maryland was unable to end the tie.
The third quarter ended with the game still tied at 2-2 and it was a much quieter frame than the previous two. Penn State led the way in the quarter with four shots compared to just three for Maryland.
Penn State suddenly took control of the game with under three minutes played in the fourth quarter as Simon retrieved the ball and took a shot that wrapped around Frost and ended up being the game-winner. The ball glided into the right side of the cage to give the Nittany Lions its first lead of the game, 3-2.
The Nittany Lions were able to capitalize on goalie Noelle Frost stepping out of the cage and attempting to create a defensive presence for her club.
Maryland struggled to tie the game and eventually couldn’t find an equalizer as it dropped its first and only game in the Big Ten Tournament.
Three things to know
1. Maryland and Penn State are some of the most explosive teams in the country. After the first 30 minutes of the game, both teams combined for four goals, 10 penalty corners, and 14 shots. A goalie can never rest when these two teams touch the field, as both sides are able to consistently apply maximum pressure at the cage. The scoring action slowed in the second half, but it was evident that each offense has the tools to take on just about any team in the country.
2. Despite the loss, Maryland’s top players played well. Typically, the Terps rely on star players like Donraadt and Rose to carry the load on both ends of the field. Both of those players tallied a goal for Maryland in what was a struggle to score goals even with a high shot total. Looking ahead further in the postseason, Maryland will continue to count on its stars when it faces even more talented programs.
3. The Terps drop their second game of the season to Penn State. Maryland held onto the lead for brief periods throughout the game but surrendered the lead after Penn State’s Anna Simon recorded her third goal of the game in the final frame. Maryland will look to put this game past them and set its sights on making a deep run in the NCAA Tournament after being abruptly knocked out of the Big Ten Tournament.