After a very brief trip away, Maryland field hockey began its four-game home stand with an expected victory against Bucknell thanks to an overwhelming shot differential and another strong second-half surge.
Maryland opened the scoring in the first half, but Bucknell equalized just after the intermission. However, the Terps responded with three goals in a four-minute span to pull away.
The Terps returned to their now-expected high-octane offense early and often in the first half against the Bison. Within fifteen minutes from the start of the game, Maryland had 12 shots (11 on target) and earned four penalty corners. Senior midfielder Lein Holsboer and sophomore defender Bodil Keus were the main tormentors of Bucknell’s defense, getting off four shots apiece.
While the show seemed to be “business as usual,” Maryland decided to switch up its strategy a little bit and break its trend of scoreless first halves. Just before the 16-minute mark, freshman midfielder Kyler Greenwalt scrapped her to way to her first goal of the season off of a penalty corner when she cleaned up Keus’ initial shot that was saved.
Around the 11-minute mark, sophomore defender Kelee Lepage was booked with a five-minute yellow card, putting the Terps down to 10 players. But Bucknell was unable to capitalize on their personnel advantage and Maryland took the 1-0 lead into halftime.
Even with the momentum against them, the Bison showed signs of life early in the second half. Junior forward Nicole Rupnik was able to get the ball past Sarah Holliday off of a rebounded save, her first of the season and the team’s first shot of the game. Now tied at 1-1, it appeared as though there might have been a competitive game in College Park.
Unfortunately for the Bison, this was not just any team they were playing in the second half. This was Maryland, a team that seems to get better as the game goes on. No more than two minutes after Rupnik’s tying goal, Greenwalt got her second goal of the season after miscommunication between Bison goalkeeper Emily Finn and a defender left the cage wide open for the Maryland freshman to tap it in and make it 2-1.
The Terps doubled their lead three minutes later off the stick of Holsboer, who scored immediately from a penalty corner, her fourth of the season. The senior decided to double her goal total for the day just before the 26-minute mark. As she was getting brought down by a Bucknell defender, Holsboer scooped up a prayer that was able to chip Finn and sneak in just under the crossbar of the cage, bringing the score to 4-1.
Three things to know
- The little mistakes need to be reigned in. It was another good win for the Terps, but it was not without its blemishes. You can’t keep a strong offense going if you end up a player down at some point, and you can’t keep that momentum going if you let an unranked team catch you off-guard with a quick score to start the half. Big Ten play has started, but the Terps are still cleaning up their play.
- More fresh faces on the score sheet. Maryland is already molding into the great team it was expected to be, and now that the newer players, like Kyler Greenwalt, are getting comfortable enough to regularly put the ball into the cage, the team can only get better.
- This victory bodes incredibly well for Tuesday. The Terps will be going up against ranked Princeton with a four-game winning streak, while the Tigers will be going into unfriendly territory with two consecutive losses and only one goal between the two games. Consider the score to favor Maryland in this one.