With fewer than 11 minutes until halftime, Virginia was assessed its first penalty corner of the game. The Cavaliers didn’t even get a shot off, as the ball sailed away from the circle.
Maryland graduate midfielder Danielle Van Rootselaar scooped the loose ball in stride and found senior midfielder Belle Bressler in transition. Bressler took two steps before delivering a dime to sophomore Hope Rose sprinting in front of the net.
Rose sent the shot into the cage for No. 2 Maryland field hockey’s second goal of the game en route to a 2-0 victory over No. 7 Virginia Tuesday evening. The Terps moved to 15-2 overall and a perfect 10-0 at home in their final game this season at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex in College Park.
Maryland has just one game remaining in the regular season.
The game started fast with both teams pacing the field, as they looked to capitalize on the aggression of the defense.
With six minutes remaining in the first quarter, Maryland attempted to get on the board with the first penalty corner of the game.
Rootselaar stepped in rhythm before sending a strong shot that ricocheted off the arm of Virginia freshman goalie Jet Trimborn. The ball sailed just over the cage.
The Terps wouldn’t dwell on their missed opportunity, instead coming back stronger in the following minutes.
Less than five minutes later, Maryland received its second penalty corner. Graduate defender Riley Donnelly sent a low shot into the back of the cage for the first goal of the game. Donnelly’s score gave the Terps a 1-0 lead after the first 15 minutes.
After relinquishing five goals in its recent loss to Penn State, Maryland looked determined to put together a brilliant defensive performance.
The second half began with the Terps continuing to dominate on the defensive end.
With just a few minutes left in the third quarter, Virginia received its third penalty corner of the game with a chance to trim its deficit.
Virginia freshman midfielder Caroline Nemec swung a strong shot into the cage, but Maryland senior midfielder Nathalie Fietcher rotated seamlessly to thwart the goal away from the cage.
The teams traded two shots apiece in the fourth quarter, and Trimborn was forced to make the only save of the period. The second half ended scoreless, as the Terps did enough in the first 30 minutes to put the Cavaliers away.
Maryland’s Big Ten regular season slate is already in the rearview mirror. The Terps face one more nonconference opponent in UConn to wrap up the regular season Sunday.
Three things to know
1. Maryland picked up yet another marquee win Wednesday, but its Big Ten fate is out of its hands. The Terps’ victory over Virginia moved their record to 15-2 with a 7-1 record in conference play. Maryland finished its 2022-23 home schedule with a perfect 10-0 record, which marked their first perfect home slate since the 2018 season. However, after suffering a 5-1 loss to second-place Penn State on Oct. 23, the Terps no longer control their own destiny in the Big Ten. If Penn State can win Friday at Rutgers, it will have the No. 1 seed. If not, Maryland will be the top seed and outright conference champions.
2. The Terps’ defense pitched their fourth shutout after relinquishing a season-high five goals in their previous contest. On Oct. 23, the Terps’ defense allowed five consecutive goals in their first loss in Big Ten play. Maryland rebounded with a stellar defensive performance, pitching a shutout against Virginia. With the postseason on the horizon, it will be essential for Maryland’s defense to consistently show up.
3. What’s next for the Terps? Maryland will close out the regular season with a road matchup with UConn on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Terps have been playing outstanding hockey the entire season, as they were featured in the top four of the NFHCA rankings every week. With one game remaining on the schedule, Maryland will look to put together a quality game before setting its sights on the Big Ten Tournament.