Coming off of a dramatic 3-2 overtime win over No. 10 Michigan, Maryland field hockey had another tough task on their hands in No. 13 Old Dominion. However, the Terps came out strong and defeated the Monarchs, 2-1.
Early in the first period, neither team seemed to control the game, and it took until the 14th minute for Maryland to strike. Off of the team’s second straight penalty corner, Olivia Reiter scored her second goal of the season to put the Terps up 1-0.
From there, Maryland controlled possession and dominated in the shot column.
However, in the 34th minute, Danielle Grega tied the game for Old Dominion, her sixth goal of the season.
The Terps outshot the Monarchs 12-3 in the period, but Old Dominion’s late goal quickly ended Maryland’s run.
“The score is nothing but what you see on the scoreboard,” Maryland Coach Missy Meharg told reporters after the game. “It’s how you play and the changes that you make and they [the team] did the changes that we asked and I think we were very successful.”
While the late goal gave Old Dominion a bit of light going into the break, it was Maryland who continued their aggressive play at the start of the second period.
The Terps continued their shot barrage on Monarchs goalie Kealsie Robles, who ended up with 10 saves overall.
Just over 10 minutes into the period, Linnea Gonzales assisted Welma Luus on her 10th goal of the season off a breakout from an Old Dominion penalty corner.
Luus’s go-ahead goal ended up being the game-winner for the Terps.
“I was just waiting to get the ball,” Luus said. “It’s just that decision-making of whether the goalie is coming out or whether she’s staying and I thought she got her first couple steps a little late so I saw the hole and I went for the shot.”
Maryland’s performance overall was dominant, outshooting Old Dominion 9-1 in the second period, and 21-4 in the game, not to mention they won in the penalty corner department, 7-3.
Along with Luus, Terps goalie Sarah Bates was an impact player. In her first career start, Bates made one save and only gave up one goal. She faced only four shots, a testament to Maryland’s defensive dominance on the day.
“It’s a little bit harder to stay focused when the ball is down at the other end so much,” said Bates.
Meharg gave Bates extended playing time for the second game in a row. Last Friday’s game against Michigan, Bates said, helped her a lot to prepare for this game.
“That helped a lot, having the minutes that I had, coming in and just being able to play and be used to what I experienced on Friday,” said Bates.
Maryland’s next game is this Friday at 7 p.m. against unranked Michigan State. The Terps then go on the road for their next two games, at Ohio State and at No. 5 Penn State.
Three things to know
- Maryland’s continued dominance of ranked opposition. As stated earlier, this was the fifth straight game against ranked opposition. With the win tonight, the Terps finished that stretch with a 4-1 record. Historically, Maryland has played a tough schedule, but it’s stretches like the one they just had that show just how good a team really is, and for Maryland, they are easily in that company.
- The team with the most shots usually wins. Like last game, Maryland took more shots than their opponent and both times, they won. However, this game the Terps took almost seven times more shots than Old Dominion. That puts more pressure on the opposing goalie. Considering the fact that Maryland was on Old Dominion’s half of the field for the majority of the game, that shot count isn’t surprising.
- Teams that play together win together. The Terps have been very unselfish with the ball this entire season, and tonight was no different. Linnea Gonzales, one of the team’s leading scorers, assisted on Welma Luus’s goal. Luus, talking about the goal, said, “That’s what makes us a special team. We play together. We’re willing to give the ball up, even if we have a shot.”