The No. 2 Maryland field hockey team tripped up in its final regular season game, losing 3-1 to No. 23 Virginia on the road Sunday afternoon.
The Cavaliers opened the match with relentless pressure, and an early two goals gave them enough of an edge that the Terrapins (16-2) just couldn’t top. Virginia led 2-0 after nine minutes, and while Maryland got within one early in the second half, the Cavaliers added an insurance goal late to put the game away.
Virginia (7-8) opened up the scoring early, as Greer Gill knocked in her first goal of the game off a rebound from a Sarah Holliday save just under seven minutes in. The Cavaliers then continued applying pressure, drawing their third penalty corner in the first nine minutes, and Gill added her second goal in two minutes for a 2-0 Virginia lead.
After 35 minutes, Virginia held solid control of the match in just about every phase. The Cavaliers led 9-5 in shots (4-3 on goal) and also had a whopping four penalty corners, as Maryland’s only corner chance came in the final four minutes of the half.
In the 40th minute, Maryland found its way onto the scoreboard for the first time thanks to an early penalty corner. The ball was injected and set for Bodil Keus, who dropped it off for Linnea Gonzales, who rifled it in to make it a 2-1 game.
Sophomore Kyler Greenwalt suffered what seemed to be a non-contact injury in the 53rd minute, knocking her out of the game. Maryland then kept pressuring Virginia, but congestion in front of the Cavalier goal repeatedly resulted in violations that stop the Terrapin attack.
In the 61st minute, Virginia added another tally off of a penalty corner when Anzel Viljoen had her shot deflected up into the net. The 3-1 Virginia lead forced Maryland to pull Holliday for an extra attacker in the final minutes.
The Terrapins struggled to obtain possession from the Cavaliers, as they were forced to defend four penalty corners without a goalkeeper. Keus racked up five saves as she acted as the goalie, but Maryland was unable to generate an attack.
Maryland managed to actually fight back statistically in the second half, as they finished the match leading 9-8 in shots on target, but the Cavaliers’ 11-3 differential in penalty corner chances was key in their victory.
Maryland will host its first matchup of the Big Ten tournament in College Park next Sunday. On Friday, eighth-seeded Indiana will play ninth-seeded Michigan State at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex for the right to face the top-seeded Terrapins.
Three things to know
- The second half was a positive sign. Maryland came out of the break firing and was able to just about even up shots and even take a lead in shots on target. With the way the Terrapins have struggled lately, fighting back for momentum was good to see. Though they lost 3-1, they didn’t fold after falling behind early.
- Sarah Holliday was better in goal than the stats suggest. Holliday stopped just two of the five shots on goal that she faced, and the defense blocked five others with her in net. Gill’s first goal came off a deflection from a Holliday save, and Virginia’s other two scores came as tips and redirections, which are nearly impossible to save. Maryland’s late defense without even having Holliday in net proves they can shut teams down moving forward.
- An entire week of rest should help the team gear up for a post season run. Along with the well-played second half, rest will help Maryland come back stronger in the postseason. With midterms and four games in two weekends, the Terrapins are due for a refresh, and this comes at the right time.