Maryland field hockey suffered its first loss of the 2018 season Sunday in State College, falling 3-1 to Penn State.
The No. 7 Nittany Lions were able to press Maryland all day and didn’t allow many scoring chances for the No. 2 Terrapins. Penn State led at halftime and pulled away in the second half, with Maryland’s only goal coming in garbage time.
Maryland struggled to generate much of an attack in the first half. Penn State defended the Terrapins’ breakouts well and limited chances for strong counter attacks.
The lone first half goal was scored by Penn State, as Madison Morano stole a pass and then sent the ball across to Abby Meyers for her second goal of the season. This score marked the first time in six games that Maryland didn’t score first.
Both teams had different advantages in 35 minutes, as Maryland led in shots (8-4, 5-3 on goal) but Penn State held a lead in penalty corner chances, 3-2.
In the second half, Penn State added on to its lead by beating the Terrapins at their own strength. After earning numerous penalty corners, the Nittany Lions finally knocked one home as Anna Simon took a layoff from Moira Putsch and shot it through the Maryland defense.
Penn State then added a third goal, its second off a penalty corner, as Putsch managed to put one home for the 3-0 lead. She took the lay off from Aurelia Meijer and was able to sneak it in between Sarah Holliday and the near post.
The Nittany Lions took total control in the second half, taking over the lead in shots on goal (10-8) and penalty corners (8-5). Maryland was clinging to the one-goal deficit, but once Penn State started capitalizing on its corner chances, nothing more could be done.
Maryland managed to escape from being shut out, as Nike Lorenz scored on a penalty stroke. Lorenz was hooked from behind, called for the stroke, and Maryland successfully won their video referral.
Missy Meharg and her team will look to bounce back on the road friday as they face off against Indiana (3-9, 1-4). That matchup will most likely be the Terrapins’ last non-ranked opponent of the season, as they close out the year against Iowa, Northwestern and Virginia, who are all currently ranked in the top 20.