After its second loss of the season coming just a week earlier, Maryland field hockey was able to regroup and start postseason play with a 6-0 domination of Michigan State.
The Terrapins (17-2) were without midfielder Kyler Greenwalt, who suffered a torn ACL against Virginia, and sophomore defender Sophie Giezeman, who left the team to pursue other endeavors. But they still had perhaps their best performance of the season, tallying 30 shots to Michigan State’s two.
Maryland started the game off fast, as senior Linnea Gonzales taking the ball up the middle and backhanding a shot into the goal just 3:30 into the match. In the 13th minute, Maryland earned their first penalty corner chance and Bodil Keus ripped one in off of a set up by Madison Maguire. Then, just 28 seconds later, Mayv Clune was able to extend the Terrapins’ lead to 3-0 after knocking home a goal off of a breakaway save by Michigan State’s Jade Arundell.
It seemed like the Terrapins had possession for almost the entire first half, and the stats through 35 minutes depicted just that. Maryland finished the half with 20 shots, 11 on goal and four penalty corner chances, while allowing Michigan State just one shot in the entire half, which was saved by Sarah Holliday.
The second half didn’t contain as much action as the first, but Maryland’s offense continued to roll. In the 55th minute, Lizzy Dessoye scored her first goal off the season off a penalty corner, and in the 58th minute, Nike Lorenz extended the lead to 5-0 with her 11th on the season.
As time wound down, Bibi Donraadt cut in and was able to join the scoring party on a hard shot in the 68th minute, capping off the 6-0 victory.
The Terrapins’ 30 shots at the final whistle were their most in a single game this season. Of those shots, 16 were on goal, and Maryland also had eight penalty corners. The Spartans (5-15) failed to add any shots in the second half and finished with two penalty corner chances for the entire match.
Maryland will face off against the winner between fifth-seeded Rutgers and fourth-seeded Ohio State at 1 p.m. next Friday in Evanston, Illinois.
Three things to know
- Maryland’s forecheck can win them games. This Terrapin defense looked good on the stat sheet but that was all thanks to the Maryland forecheck. Michigan State simply couldn’t get the ball out of its own half often enough to put any attack together, limiting chances.
- Penalty corner conversions make a huge difference. Maryland has struggled to capitalize on its penalty corner chances in the second half of the season, but woke up against Michigan State. Lorenz spoke after the game about how the goals are nice, but being able to earn the chances and truly dominate an opponent are what build confidence. Though they only converted 25 percent of their chances, those two goals will serve as a confidence boost moving forward.
- The resting continues. Maryland opted to sit a number of starters, including Linnea Gonzales and Sarah Holliday, in the second half to further preserve the team heading deeper into postseason play. “We speak in practice about ‘Let’s get up by four,’ because once we’re at a four-goal difference, everybody’s going to play,” head coach Missy Meharg said after the game. With Lorenz also coming back after sitting the last four regular season games due to injury, Maryland’s depth continues to grow as the importance of each game does as well.