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Maryland field hockey gears up for Big Ten tournament matchup vs. Michigan State

The Terrapins will host Michigan State to start their postseason run.

maryland field hockey Gabe Fernandez/Testudo Times

Coming off of its second loss of the season, the Maryland field hockey team will look to bounce back as postseason play begins. The Terrapins (16-2) won the Big Ten regular season title, and will host Michigan State (5-14) on Sunday in College Park.

Maryland started its season 13-0 before falling to Penn State on the road, and finished the regular season with a 16-2 record. The Terrapins took down 11 ranked teams this season, five of which came against top-five teams, including a road win against Connecticut in a rematch of the 2017 national championship.

Senior forward Linnea Gonzales has led the charge this season with 13 goals and 30 points. Freshman Bibi Donraadt has been the hot hand as of late, due to her maturity and finally filling into her midfield role. Senior goalkeeper Sarah Holliday finished the regular season with a goals-against average of just 1.82 and tallied 47 saves. Her leadership and eye for stopping set pieces will be the driving force for the Terrapins this postseason.

The team faced a tough stretch of four games in two weekends with midterms in between, but with a week of rest since the loss at Virginia, the Terrapins should be ready to go.

“The nice thing is that we get to play at home,” Maryland head coach Missy Meharg said. “We can get some good recovery time. We certainly need some good recovery time with their academics and their bodies.”

Up next is a Michigan State team the Terrapins have already beaten handily.

The Spartans were last place in the conference and given the No. 9 seed in the tournament, but defeated the eighth-seeded Indiana Hoosiers in College Park on Friday. The game was tied 2-2 and went to overtime, where Michigan State scored in the 73rd minute off of a penalty corner to win.

Just before the midway point of the season, Maryland took on Michigan State and ran past them with ease in a 5-1 win. The Terrapins led 22-6 in shots and converted three out of 10 penalty corners in the contest. The lone slip-up came as the half winded down and the Spartans managed to get one in off their own penalty corner.

Freshman forward/midfielder Isa Van Der Weij has led the Michigan State offense this season with 11 total points and four goals. She was rather quiet in both Maryland’s previous matchup and the Spartans’ last game against Indiana, but she could be a threat to score.

Sophomore forward Meredith Ross, meanwhile, really found her touch last time out against Indiana, scoring two goals and landing all five of her shots on goal. She came on as a substitute after halftime and scored to tie the game in the 44th and 64th minute to keep the Spartans in it. Those tallies come after a regular season where she scored just once, so Maryland will need to make sure she is contained well and the hot streak doesn’t continue.

Sunday’s match starts at noon on Sunday in College Park and will be streamed on BTN Plus.