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No. 4 Maryland field hockey throttles Drexel, 7-1, to open the season

Maryland had no issues putting away a lesser opponent in Drexel in the season opener.

Photo Courtesy of @TerpsFH
Twitter/Maryland Field Hockey

With No. 4 Maryland field hockey holding a comfortable lead in the season opener against Drexel, sophomore attacker Hope Rose received the ball off a pass from senior midfielder Nathalie Fiechter. Rose ripped a shot past Drexel’s goalkeeper for her second goal of the day and extended the Terps’ lead to 6-0.

The star sophomore poured it on all evening to give Maryland a dominant 7-1 victory over Drexel in the season opener on Friday in College Park.

“She was one of our leading scorers and she took the spring off. Hope played with the national team and played with the Pro League internationally,” Meharg said. “So I’m not surprised. She loves to set people up. She’s dangerous. So she’s doing just what it is that she wants to do.”

Maryland and Drexel both used the first few minutes to feel each other’s strategies out. Both clubs struggled to generate any offense to start the contest.

The Terps wouldn’t allow their cold streak to linger too much longer. Rose took advantage of an early second-quarter penalty corner with a nice pass to senior Emma DeBerdine. DeBerdine’s strike entered the right cage, giving the Terps a 1-0 lead.

Less than two minutes after DeBerdine’s goal, Rose made her presence felt again, scoring her first goal of the season on a strong shot that narrowly missed the outstretched hands of Drexel goalie Megan Hadfield.

With halftime on the horizon, freshman midfielder Sophie Klautz scored her first goal as a Terp with a low shot that squeezed into the left side of the cage. Maryland took a commanding 3-0 lead after 30 minutes in College Park.

Maryland head coach Missy Meharg and her club would not take their foot off the gas in the second half. With just under 12 minutes left in the third quarter, Klautz delivered a swift shot to the back of the cage to give Maryland an overwhelming 4-0 lead. The goal gave the Netherlands native two goals on the evening.

“I went to Eindhoven [Netherlands] during COVID and she was a U-17 Dutch player and I watched the national team play for the Netherlands,” Meharg said of Klautz. “I saw that fiery, redheaded, young, wonderful athlete and I’m like I need her in [Maryland] red.”

Rose got back in the scoring column later in the period, as she fired a rocket into the right side of the cage to give the Terps a 5-0 lead.

Maryland added on two more goals, one from Rose and another from graduate midfielder Dani Van Rootselaar to give Maryland a resounding 7-0 lead.

Drexel did however get on board in the final period with a goal to cut the Terps’ lead to six. Maryland had already built a monster lead that nothing in the final few minutes mattered as the Terps secured a six-goal victory in the season opener.

Three things to know

1. Maryland extends its opening day streak to an impressive 20 games. The Terps didn’t allow a slow first quarter to derail their chances to secure a victory. With the victory over Drexel, Meharg and the Terps extended their season-opening win streak to 20 games. Maryland’s offense took over in the second quarter and never looked back en route to a dominant victory.

2. The Terps defense neutralized Drexel’s offense the entire night. Maryland started graduate goalkeeper Christina Calandra, and she defended the cage at a high level the entire evening. In three quarters of playing time, Calandra held Drexel scoreless and allowed a mere two shots. The Terps defense is predicated on speed and forcing turnovers to ignite their explosive offense. Maryland junior defender Rayne Wright showcased outstanding lateral agility by sliding her feet and jumping numerous passing lanes, causing havoc on the defensive end.

3. Freshman Sophie Klautz displayed a brilliant performance in her first game as a Terp. Klautz came to Maryland after a decorated career in the Netherlands. The freshman scored two goals in consecutive quarters, showing she can contribute immediately to a Terps offense that ranked in the top 10 in the nation last season. With Klautz in the fold, Maryland’s offense could be difficult to handle this season.