After rising two spots in the national rankings this week, Maryland field hockey defeated No. 8 Virginia 2-1 on a blistery Tuesday afternoon in College Park.
The No. 3 Terps (14-3, 6-1 Big Ten) were coming off of their biggest win of the season. They came out slow in this game, especially in the opening 10 minutes.
Virginia (11-7, ACC 3-3) had the early edge, pressuring the Terps in their half of the field. The Cavaliers had six of the game’s first seven shots on goal and won the first twp penalty corners.
However, the Terps still struck first in the 24th minute when Linnea Gonzales scored her ninth goal of the season off a penalty corner.
Unlike previous games however, the Terps didn’t show a burst of energy after scoring and Virginia continued to pressure in the Maryland half.
In the 30th minute, the Cavaliers equalized off a goal-line scrum from a penalty corner, leaving Riley Tata free in front of the goal for her 10th of the season.
Both teams went into the break tied, however, Virginia dominated in shots and in penalty corners, 13-4 and 5-1 respectively.
At the start of the second half, it was much of the same story, with Virginia controlling the ball, but again like in the first half, Maryland would be the first to strike in the second half.
In the 45th minute, freshman Madison Maguire put the Terps ahead 2-1 on her fourth goal of the season. Emma Rissinger supplied the assist off a beautiful give-and-go in the Virginia circle.
Unlike the first goal, the Terps were able to pressure the Cavaliers after the second. The real story of the second half, and the game, was Maryland goalie Sarah Bates, who set a career high with eight saves overall.
Some of her best came in the second half, one of which was an all-out diving save off a Cavalier penalty corner.
In the end, Maryland hung on for the victory, their third straight against a top-10 team. With the win, the team finishes 8-3 against ranked opposition in the regular season.
The next game for the Terps is their last of the regular season, a Big Ten clash this Saturday against Rutgers.
After that, Maryland heads into the postseason, starting out with the Big Ten Tournament in College Park.
Three things to know
- The consistency of Sarah Bates: Bates set another career high for herself today with eight saves. She came up clutch against a Virginia attack that unloaded 19 shots on the redshirt junior. Fortunately for her and the Terps, she was more than up to the task, only conceding the one goal. As the postseason approaches, don’t be surprised to see her in the net.
- Shot efficiency: Though the Terps won, they only had six shots in the entire game. However, five were on target, and two turned into goals. That’s a conversion rate of 40 percent for shots on goal and 33.3 percent overall.
- Maryland’s dominance against top-10 opponents: This win gave Maryland its third straight victory over a top-10 opponent. Overall, the Terps are 5-2 against top-10 competition, including their 2-1 win last Sunday against then-No. 1 UConn. With one of the toughest schedules coming into the season, the Terps held their ground and look poised for a championship run in the postseason.