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No. 3 Maryland field hockey improves to 6-0 with 6-1 win over New Hampshire

The Terps are undefeated through their first six games for the first time since 2018.

Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics.

Maryland field hockey’s best features were on display for a good portion of its game against the University of New Hampshire. At times, the Terps showed ironclad defense and demonstrated why they have one of the top offenses in the nation in their 6-1 win at the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex in College Park on Sunday afternoon.

The win moves Maryland to 6-0 on the season, its best start to a season since 2018.

“This team is responsive and they want to play good hockey ... I thought the third and fourth quarter were with complete dominance,” Maryland head coach Missy Meharg said.

Five of the Terps’ six goals were scored by different players, including senior midfielder Belle Bressler, who recorded her first of the 2022 campaign. This came after an early first-quarter goal from sophomore forward Hope Rose and a third-quarter tally from graduate midfielder Bibi Donraadt.

It was a typical strike from Rose. Down low, inside and in the circle where she typically does her best work. She was able to execute a swipe of the ball sending it into the cage.

Maryland head coach Missy Meharg went with a goalkeeper change to begin the game, putting sophomore Paige Kieft in for the more experienced senior Christina Calandra. Kieft entered the game with 26 minutes of playing time in 2022. Meharg said she made the change yesterday with the intention of giving a young goalkeeper more playing experience.

Kieft wanted to show the coaching staff that they can depend on her going forward in a tough game situation, especially with Big Ten play fast approaching.

“I want to show them how confident I am in the cage and that even before, playing at a high-competitive club program, high competitive high school environment has prepared me for those high-stress games,” Kieft said.

Jemma Woods was in goal for New Hampshire Sunday, and despite the loss, did an exceptional job of slowing Maryland down in the latter portion of the second quarter. She stopped all 11 Terp shots in the period. Multiple Terrapins got shots off inside the circle but were met with diving foam pads. Woods had 10 saves at the intermission — three off her season high.

New Hampshire’s offense found it difficult to mount any offense to back up its goalkeeper. Its lone goal of the opening half was scored unassisted from Tasmin Cookman.

It did, however, do a solid job warding off Maryland’s penalty corner attack for a majority of the game. Only one corner was successful, when graduate midfielder Dani van Rootselaar knocked in a fourth-quarter goal, making it 4-1.

Once Maryland had that cushion, senior midfielder Emma Deberdine and Rose decided to join the action with the Terps fifth and sixth goals, respectively, to capitalize a dominant win for Maryland.

Simply put, Meharg said, “It’s a luxury,” to have the amount of depth that Maryland does.

Three things to know

1. Sophomore goalkeeper Paige Kieft started her first game of the 2022 season. The sophomore had 26 minutes of playing time this season before getting the start over senior Christina Calandra. She allowed a goal in the early portion of the game but ended the contest allowing one goal and recording two saves.

2. Maryland did not allow a New Hampshire penalty corner through the first three quarters. The Terps kept the Wildcats in their end of the field a majority of the game. It was rare that any New Hampshire player spent extended time in Maryland’s zone. The first attempt for New Hampshire came with seven minutes left in the game and resulted in a save from Kieft.

3. Maryland has only allowed an opponent to score multiple times once this season. Maryland’s defense has been incredible dominant all season, and the proof is with the few goals the Terps have allowed in their cage. Five times this season Maryland has allowed one or fewer goals on its way to becoming 6-0 on the year. The only time the Terps allowed more than one score was a two-goal output from Duke, a game which Maryland won by five.