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Maryland field hockey knocks off No. 3 Virginia, 5-4

The Terps pick up a marquee victory in Charlottesville.

field hockey celebrates

Maryland field hockey took down No. 3 Virginia on Tuesday, scoring five unanswered goals and heading home with a 5-4 win.

Freshman Kyler Greenwalt led the way with two goals, and No. 12 Maryland’s defense held the Cavaliers without a shot for the final 30 minutes of the first half, a stretch during which the Terps scored four times. Virginia made a late charge, scoring two goals in the final three minutes, but it wasn’t enough.

Maryland finished with 21 shots to Virginia’s 13, and won the shots-on-goal battle 14-9. Terrapin goalkeeper Sarah Holliday wasn’t tested as rigorously as she has been at times this season, while Maryland chased the Cavaliers’ starting goalie after a dominating first half.

The teams exchanged goals early on, with Virginia striking first. The Cavaliers controlled possession at the start, firing off four shots in the first five minutes, the last of which found the back of the net. After earning a penalty corner and getting stopped once, Izzy McDonough scored on the rebound, putting her team on the board.

It only took one shot for Maryland to equalize. Junior Linnea Gonzales found some space and scored on a backhand shot from well outside the (crease). Her seventh goal of the season knotted the score at 1-1 less than eight minutes in.

From there, it was all Terps for the rest of the half. Gonzales had another chance on a penalty corner at the 16-minute mark. Virginia goalie Carrera Lucas stopped it, but Greenwalt slipped the rebound in to give Maryland a 2-1 lead. Virginia struggled to find an offensive rhythm after its early success, and the Terps would put the game virtually out of reach by halftime.

Lein Holsboer’s 10th goal of 2017 doubled the lead just over four minutes before intermission, also on a penalty corner. With 1:54 remaining in the half, Melissa Wilken joined the scoring party off an assist from Kelee Lepage.

Virginia switched goalies at halftime, turning to freshman Lauren Hausheer, but the results weren’t much different. Greenwalt notched her second goal of the game in the 49th minute, making it 5-1 and erasing whatever doubts remained about the outcome.

The teams played much more evenly in the second half, and Virginia got back on the board in the 59th minute. Then things got really interesting. The Cavaliers added a third goal in the 68th minute and a fourth with 56 seconds remaining. They won the ensuing faceoff and spent the final minute within striking distance, but the Terps’ defense held them off.

Maryland (11-5) will seek its fourth straight win over a ranked opponent Sunday afternoon at No. 21 Rutgers.

Three things to know

1. The Terps are putting it all together. They’ve won five straight, including consecutive wins over top-six teams. Maryland’s 6-5 start gave some reason for concern (even though all five losses were to ranked opponents), but the Terps are playing their best field hockey of the season now. With the Big Ten tournament next weekend, they’re clicking at the right time.

2. Virginia’s late charge can still serve as a lesson. Maryland led by four goals with 12 minutes remaining, then seemed to let up. It led to a significant scare in the final minute, with the Terps up just one and backed into their own end. They’ll need to play a complete 70 minutes in the postseason.

3. This hardly felt like a road game. The scenery was different and the turf was blue, but the audible “Let’s go Maryland” chants and somewhat familiar opponent worked to the Terps’ advantage. Even with the scare, Maryland has now won 19 of 20 meetings against the Cavaliers.