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No. 8 Maryland field hockey falls to No. 6 Rutgers, 3-2, in penalty shootout

The Terps dropped their Big Ten opener.

Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics.

No. 8 Maryland field hockey seemed positioned to win the marathon at No. 6 Rutgers. After regulation and two overtime periods, the Terps found themselves up one after the first round of a penalty shootout.

But the Scarlet Knights responded by netting three unanswered scores to win, 3-2, remaining undefeated and thwarting Maryland (7-3) in its Big Ten opener.

Both teams failed to score on the three corner attempts they drew in the overtime sessions, setting up Rutgers redshirt senior Iris Langejans to be the hero on the second round of penalty strokes. Including the lead-taking score, Rutgers (10-0) went perfect on attempts from Marique Dieudonne, Langejans, and Paulina Niklaus, while redshirt junior goalkeeper Sophia Howard held her own against Maryland in a four-save performance.

While Maryland fifth-year Margot Lawn opened the game’s scoring just minutes into the first quarter, Rutgers returned the favor by netting an equalizer halfway through the second quarter. The Scarlet Knights drew three quick corners against Maryland, but came up short on all of them before junior Julianne Kopec sent a low, dribbling shot that deflected off the stick of Terps freshman Josie Hollamon past goalkeeper Paige Kieft.

Rutgers quickly found another goal out of the halftime break from a likely source. After Kieft kicked a shot away, Rutgers junior and reigning Big Ten Player of the Week Guillerma Causarano attacked the rebound for her team-leading eighth goal of the season.

Following up Causarano, Maryland freshman Maci Bradford then knotted the score at two. Later in the third, a sprinting Bradford just had to beat Rutgers goalkeeper Sophia Howard by controlling a nice pass. The freshman rolled a shot in while taking a bump from Howard for her fifth goal this season, the most by a Terp not named Hope Rose.

Bradford’s goal was the last before penalty strokes, where Rutgers overcame an early deficit and handed the Terps their third loss of the season.

Three things to know

1. Rutgers controlled most of the play. Especially in the second half, Rutgers dictated the pace of play, notching 11 shots in regulation and seven in extra time. The Scarlet Knights’ 18 shots are the most Maryland has allowed since its regular-season finale against Northwestern last year.

2. Bradford stays hot. By netting her fifth goal against Rutgers, Bradford became the first Maryland freshman to score five or more goals in a season since Rose did so with 10 in 2021.

3. Marathon women. Maryland’s Rayne Wright, Maura Verleg, Josie Hollamon, Hannah Boss and Kieft each played at least 65 minutes in the penalty stroke loss. Kieft played the entirety of the game despite usually splitting time with freshman Alyssa Klebasko in net.