Like uninvited guests to a wedding, Maryland field hockey decided to crash Rutgers’ senior day with an offensive performance that added an exclamation point to an already impressive end of the regular season.
Junior forward Melissa Wilken and sophomore midfielder Madison Maguire scored three goals apiece, and Maryland cruised to a 6-0 victory. The Terps didn’t have a single hat trick in 2017, but both players accomplished the feat Sunday.
Not even the ceremonial nature of senior day could give Rutgers the necessary energy boost it desperately needed to compete with a squad as hot as Maryland. Just six minutes into the game, Maryland was able to find their way on the scoreboard off the stick of Wilken, her third of the season, to put the Terps up 1-0.
After almost 20 minutes of Maryland-dominated possession, freshman midfielder Brooke DeBerdine stole an errant pass from Rutgers and went the entire length of the field, avoiding every Scarlet Knight in her path. She fired off a shot that that forced Rutgers goalkeeper Gianna Glatz off her line, and ultimately rebounded the ball into the path of Wilken, who doubled the Terps’ lead and her goal total for the day.
Maguire decided to get in on the scoring action when she received a great pass from Kyler Greenwalt, after a scramble in front of the Rutgers goal, and scored her fourth goal of the season to put the Terps up 3-0. It was a nice gift from the freshman after Maguire had just run down from the Rutgers penalty circle to help out the offense.
Even with Wilken continuing to torment the Scarlet Knights’ defense with her shot attempts, Rutgers was able to temporarily hold off Maryland and take its 3-0 deficit into halftime.
But the halftime break didn’t disrupt any of the momentum that Maryland had been building throughout the game. Wilken was able to finally break through for her hat trick eight minutes into the second half to bring the Terps up 4-0 thanks to a pass from Linnea Gonzales that put her in front of an empty cage. Four minutes later, the Terps went up 5-0 with a second goal from Maguire after some heavy Maryland pressure forced a 2-on-1 situation against the Rutgers keeper.
At that point, the Scarlet Knights must have assumed that the Terps would take the foot off the gas pedal because they restarted the game with a set of lazy passes. Maguire capitalized on the low effort, intercepted a pass in the Rutgers penalty circle, and scored her third goal of the day to put Maryland up 6-0, the eventual final score.
Maryland will take Michigan State in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament on Sunday, Oct. 29 at College Park.
Three things to know
- A season-first came twice. Throughout the season, no Maryland player had scored a hat trick, an odd change of pace for a team that has been historically known to usually have a dominant scorer on the squad. Melissa Wilken and Madison Maguire decided to break that drought, with each player getting a hat trick of their own.
- Sloppy defense in the first half was a little concerning. Not that it actually resulted in any punishment for the Terps, but they did allow four penalty corners in the first half, while earning none themselves. The Scarlet Knights are a young squad, so that probably contributed to their inability to capitalize on any of them, but Maryland hopes to clean that up before the Big Ten tournament.
- As good of an ending as you could ask for. After coming into the season without the conference’s offensive and defensive players of the year, the young Maryland squad did not have the highest expectations set upon them. After a first half often marked by youthful mistakes, the recent tear of wins could not have been better for the squad.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the Terps’ correct matchup and venue for the first round of the Big Ten Tournament.