On a weekend known for people dressing up as something they’re not, Maryland field hockey remained the same squad it’s been all season. The Terps rolled to their seventh consecutive win, and an important win in the Big Ten tournament against Michigan State.
Maryland opened with two goals in the first three minutes, but the Spartans kept it somewhat within reach after that. The Terps added one more goal in the second half to seal a 3-0 win.
The Terps started the game with their version of the FIFA kick-off glitch, where a player is able to weave effortlessly through frustrated defenders on the way to an early opening goal. Rather than resulting in broken controllers and loud swearing, the offensive push ended with a Lein Holsboer goal, her 11th of the season, and a 1-0 lead for Maryland less than 30 seconds into the game
Two-and-a-half minutes later, Brooke DeBerdine got in on the scoring action and doubled the Terps’ lead with a shot from inside the penalty circle. The goal was her first of the season.
Outside of a single scoring opportunity from Spartan forward Sophie Macadré, Michigan State did not have the most enjoyable first half. The Spartans had their blips of ball control, but it ultimately took about 15 minutes for Michigan State to have any semblance of possession outside of their half of the field. The woes continued to build as two players also went down with injuries early.
For Maryland, the only frustrations came in its final third of the field. After allowing two early scores, Michigan State keeper Katie Miller found her form recording save after save against the Terps and had double-digit stops at the end of the first half. Otherwise, with 12 shots on goal, and dominant possession, it was a pretty dominant half.
These trends continued into the second half, but at a slower pace. The Terps appeared a little more methodical with their pushes in the penalty circle. The slower game put Maryland in position to score more often, but didn’t result in anything for a majority of the period.
But in their eighth penalty corner of the game, the Terps were able to take the proverbial lid off the cage and get back on the scoreboard. An absolute rocket off the stick of Bodil Keus was fired right past Miller for the freshman’s ninth goal of the system.
The rest of the game can be categorized by Maryland’s ability to torment the Michigan State defense and keep them on their heels. Despite not getting on the scoreboard again, the offensive pushes were enough to keep the ball away from the Spartans and they rode the tactic, and the 3-0 score, to the final horn.
Maryland will travel to East Lansing for its next game on Friday, Nov. 3, to play No. 6 Penn State in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament.
Three things to know
- The shot attempts and goals don’t add up. Katie Miller should be given a lot of credit for hitting her season-high in saves (15) on Sunday, but the Spartan defense did not do enough against the Terps to prevent as many goals as they did. Many missed opportunities were self-inflicted, usually overshot passes or wide shots. Whether it was complacency or exhaustion, Maryland also seemed to take their foot a bit off the gas after the quick lead, especially in the second-half, which is a bad precedent to set for this tournament.
- Big Ten teams could take a LePage out of Kelee’s book on defending. No saves and a low number of shots from Michigan State means that Maryland’s backline was quite strong. The standout of this game was sophomore defender Kelee LePage, who served as the sweeper that snuffed out almost every Spartan pass in the middle-third of the field, and started off most counter-attacks.
- The Terps are still rolling. The break from the regular season to tournament season was not anything that stifled the momentum Maryland had built over its previous six games. With a seventh consecutive win in hand, the next match against Penn State will certainly be something to watch.