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Maryland field hockey captures Big Ten tournament championship with 2-1 win over Iowa

The Terrapins win their second Big Ten tournament title and sweep this season’s conference championships.

maryland field hockey Gabe Fernandez / Testudo Times

Maryland field hockey earned its second-ever Big Ten tournament title on Sunday as the No. 2-ranked and top-seeded Terrapins took down a tough Iowa team, 2-1, in Evanston, Illinois.

It was a tough game for both teams with wet and windy conditions, but Maryland prevailed thanks to tough defense and having just enough offense to edge the Hawkeyes. Despite Iowa holding a 9-5 lead in shots and a 6-3 lead in shots on target, Maryland was able to hold on to an early advantage and take home the hardware.

Madison Maguire opened up the scoring at the 5:39 mark as she ripped a shot to the far post, giving Maryland the 1-0 lead.

Iowa would then begin to press the Terrapins’ defense for the rest of the first half. In the eighth minute, Sarah Holliday had a small scare where the ball looked to be unaccounted for, but she knocked it out of trouble. Then in the 20th minute, Iowa had a penalty corner chance where Hannah Bond came off the line early for an infraction. The Hawkeyes then had a new chance with just three Maryland defenders, but the defense prevailed to keep the clean sheet.

At the half, Iowa led 3-1 in shots (2-1 on target) and both teams had one penalty corner chance, but nothing came of either. Similar to the matchup in Iowa City, Holliday was the difference in the first half with two saves.

Early in the second half, Iowa found a chance, as Katie Birch sent a ball across the goal face that made it past Holliday, but Madi Christopher put the ball wide. Maryland was then able to counter, and Bibi Donraadt scored her 12th goal of the season to double the Terrapins’ lead.

Iowa then found their way on to scoreboard as Birch scored off of a penalty corner. In the 46th minute, she sent a ball at the goal that bounced off of Holliday’s body, the ground, and then in the back of the net.

In the final 10 minutes, Holliday saved the Terrapins repeatedly. In the 60th minute she came out of the net, stonewalling what seemed to be a clear Iowa chance. Then, just five minutes later, Holliday saved a shot that was riffled towards the bottom right corner, keeping the score line at 2-1 in favor of Maryland.

As time wound down, the Terrapins put everyone behind the ball as Iowa put an extra attacker on, but it was to no avail.

The 2018 NCAA Tournament bracket will be revealed by the NCAA at 10 p.m. Sunday. Maryland will most likely be one of the top four seeds, as the Terrapins are currently ranked second in the NFHCA rankings, behind undefeated North Carolina but ahead of Duke and defending champion Connecticut.