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Maryland field hockey dispatches Connecticut, 4-2, in title game rematch

Maryland moves to 12-0 after taking down the defending national champions.

Maryland field hockey Gabe Fernandez / Testudo Times

Maryland field hockey went on the road to knock off second-ranked Connecticut, 4-2, on Sunday in a rematch of the 2017 national championship game.

The Terrapins attacked early and never took their foot of the gas, and simply outlasted Connecticut in all phases of the game. They scored three times in the first half and added another goal early in the second, and the defending champion Huskies couldn’t come back.

Maryland finished the game with a massive disparity in shots, outshooting the Huskies 19-8, with 13 shots in the second half. Goalkeeper Sarah Holliday’s only action came in the second half as well, as she recorded two saves and two goals against.

Maryland came out with a heavy offensive attack in the first half, and it worked nothing but wonders. The scoring started in the fifth minute, when Bodil Keus scored off of a penalty corner assisted by Hannah Bond and Sabrina Rhodes. Ten minutes later, Keus was back for more and knocked in her second goal of the game off of Maryland’s second penalty corner. Bond was able to set the shot up again and earn her second assist of the contest, while Bibi Donraadt took the corner and got her first assist.

The Terrapins were not done with the first-half offense, as Donraadt scored off of a penalty corner in the 25th minute, giving Maryland a 3-0 lead over the Huskies. Connecticut would call a timeout and teams would play a slightly more even game to end the half with Maryland leading 3-0. The Terps held Uconn without a shot in the first 35 minutes, and generated six of their own chances and four penalty corners.

To start the second half, Connecticut tried to assert more pressure with Maryland playing out of its defensive end, but the Terrapins took advantage. Good passing up the sideline resulted in Maryland having the ball with space, and Nike Lorenz ripped in an unassisted goal to give her team a 4-0 lead.

Connecticut would respond, but not until the final 10 minutes, when it was too little, too late. Cecile Pieper scored in the 62nd minute off of an assist by Svea Booker to make it a 4-1 game. Pieper and Booker would then team up again in the 67th minute on Uconn’s only penalty corner of the game, as Pieper scoring her second goal of the game.

Maryland hosts No. 17 Rutgers on Friday at 4 p.m. ET.

Three things to know

  1. Penalty corners are everything, still. Maryland’s strongest part of the season has been their penalty corners, and nothing changed that in Storrs. The Terrapins scored three goals on eight corner chances against the Huskies, brining their totals on the season to 19 goals off 80 penalty corners.
  2. Maryland finally broke through offensively. After their 2-1 defeat of Michigan at home, Missy Meharg talked about how Maryland has the power to be a high-scoring team, but struggled to show it against really tough opponents. The Terrapins seemed to have woken up this week, as they were pushing on the gas pedal nearly the entire game, and were able to put numbers on the board to show it.
  3. The Terrapins can play with anyone. Coming into this game, multiple players spoke about how this rematch was fueling fire in the team to compete. Sabrina Rhodes specifically talked about how a win could bring the team’s confidence to a whole new level, and now they get to show that. While the rest of the schedule isn’t necessarily easy, Maryland proved it can handle any opponent in its way.