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Maryland field hockey blows past Ohio State, 9-1, to reach Big Ten championship

This was the Terrapins’ biggest offense effort on the season.

field hockey celebrates

Maryland field hockey took down No. 19 Ohio State, 9-1, on Friday to earn a spot in the 2018 Big Ten championship game.

Early pressure from Ohio State ignited a Nike Lorenz hat trick in the first half, and the Terrapins just continued to pile on as time wore on.

Maryland finished this match with a 22-10 lead in shots (15-7 on target) and a whopping 10 penalty corners, off which came six goals. The Terrapins’ nine goals in one match was also a Big Ten tournament record.

Lorenz took control of this game early as essentially got the win for Maryland thanks to a hat trick in just 10 minutes of play. Her first goal came off of a play where she cut through the defense and ripped a shot up into the net. Maryland then earned a penalty corner, where Lorenz was able to put in a second rebound chance. The third goal then came while she was on the ground and the ball was rolling around in front of Ohio State keeper Aaliyah Hernandez and Lorenz was able to poke it into the goal.

The Buckeyes were then able to capitalize on poor defending by Maryland, as Katie Pyle snuck past everyone and was able to rifle a shot past Sarah Holliday, making it a 3-1 game. Maryland would then answer after Lorenz put a ball in towards the net, past Hernandez and was deflected in by Sabrina Rhodes to give the Terrapins a 4-1 lead.

After 35 minutes of play, it was clear who was playing the best game, as Maryland had a 13-4 lead in shots (7-3 on target) and tallied up six penalty corner chances.

Head coach Missy Meharg spoke at halftime about Ohio State putting pressure on Maryland early on in the game, but the Terrapins flipped the script to start the second half. Under two minutes into the half, Kelee Lepage took a pass from Linnea Gonzales and sent it in to boost the Terrapin lead to four goals.

The Terrapins kept pressing and scored their fourth and fifth goals off of penalty corner chances (and sixth and seventh overall) in this match. First, Bodil Keus had her initial shot blocked by an Ohio State flyer, but stepped up and slotted her second attempt into the boards. Then just minutes later, Rhodes managed to find another rebound shot to put in, giving Maryland a 7-1 lead with over 27 minutes left to play.

Taylor Mason then knocked in Maryland’s sixth off of a penalty corner and eighth overall thanks to a goalie deflection up into the net, and Lizzy Dessoye knocked in a rebound to bring the score up to 9-1 in favor of the Terrapins.

Three things to know

  1. This was Maryland’s best offensive effort all season. Eight goals is the most in a single game this season, and it comes after a 6-0 effort against Michigan State that didn’t look like it could be beat. The hat trick from Nike Lorenz, the six goals off of penalty corners and the the work of crashing the net for rebounds in deflections finally click on all cylinders.
  2. Sarah Holliday and her defense were a wall. Despite the large offensive push, Holliday showed a lot of strength in goal. While up 8-1, the Terrapins’ defense and Holliday were able to stop multiple Ohio State penalty corners. The lead also allowed Maryland to spread playing time around, as Noelle Frost and Sky Joegriner were both able to notch some scoreless Big Ten tournament minutes. It’s clear the work Meharg and her staff put into set-piece defense is paying off as the season progresses.
  3. The postseason is just getting started. With the Big Ten championship coming up on Sunday, the Terrapins just need to keep pushing forward. Towards the end of the regular season, Maryland struggled to put complete games together like this. If the Terrapins want to make a long run in the NCAA Tournament, they’ll have to keep rolling as the opponents get tougher.