Sophomore midfielder Taylor Mason dropped her stick, threw her hands up in excitement and immediately hugged midfielder Madison Maguire after scoring her first goal of the season for No. 2 Maryland field hockey.
In the 40th minute against No. 6 Iowa, junior Brooke DeBerdine streaked down the right sideline and swept a cross into the circle. Mason pounced on the ball and took a shot at the cage, which deflected off of the stick of goalie Grace McGuire to put the Terps up by two after 20 minutes of scoreless play.
The score gave Maryland the insurance it needed en route to a 3-0 victory over the Hawkeyes — its third straight over a top-10 opponent.
“I was just really pumped because I think it was the goal to kinda get us to settle down a little bit,” Mason said. “It wasn’t as close of a game [after the goal], so I think it was really good that our team just worked hard and we capitalized when we needed to. It was just really fun to see all of my teammates afterwards, like everyone was freaking out, it was really fun.”
It was a battle of possession early on in Battle of the Big Ten as Iowa and Maryland fought to advance the ball downfield. Neither team found the back of the net until the second quarter.
“They play sometimes a little chaotic with their field hockey,” Maguire said. “We’re very calm on the ball and we were playing down to what they play. And I think after the first quarter, we just kind of we’re like, ‘alright guys, lets play Maryland field hockey, let’s get the ball [and] possess it.’”
In the 18th minute of the game, Maguire displayed her ball-handling ability evading a couple of Hawkeye defenders. As Maguire neared the goal, the ball got a bit out of reach, but the senior dove head first and swept the ball into the cage.
This early go-ahead goal for Maryland would be Maguire’s seventh of the season, which now tied for the team-high with sophomore Linda Cobano. Later in the game, Maguire took sole possession of the team-high, scoring her eighth goal.
“Just get the ball and transfer it around,” Mason said about the overall offensive game plan. “Pass it forward when we need to go forward, but don't force it.”
In a closely contested matchup, Maryland’s defense was able to stand tall. The Terps were able to limit Iowa’s offense opportunities and shut down attacking chances.
Iowa had drawn one penalty corner in each of the first two quarters, but Maryland’s set piece defense stopped the threat. One of the Hawkeye’s chances was eliminated after senior midfielder Sophie Sunderland shot it too high in the net.
Maryland’s first penalty corner chance came in the 36th minute of the game. Junior captain defender Bodil Keus got the shot off the corner, but it was slapped away by the Iowa defense.
Late in the fourth quarter, Iowa opted to pull its goalie for an extra attacker, but it allowed for Maryland to tack on another goal. Sophomore forward Bibi Donraad passed it off to Maguire in the circle, who had a wide open net for her second goal of the game. Her two goals, combined with Mason’s score, gave the Terps the edge and the sole lead in the Big Ten conference.
“What an amazingly strong team Iowa is,” coach Missy Meharg said. “Their players have exceptional individual skills. I think Maryland was super opportunistic, we made some good adjustments at halftime, which put us more in possession control of the game in the second half.”
Three things to know
1. Noelle Frost continues to perform in goal. This past week, the senior was awarded Big Ten and NFHCA Defensive Player of the Week. On Friday, Frost continued to show off her goalkeeping skills and prove that she was well-deserving of the honors. In this Big Ten contest, Frost finished the game with six saves and recorded her fifth shutout of the season.
2. Both teams survived penalties. In this top-ten matchup, intensity and physicality were present throughout the game. As a result, there were a lot of penalties called on both sides. Maryland was called for two green cards, while Iowa received one green and one yellow card. However, both teams survived their respective penalties and did not concede any goals as a result of the cards.
3. Maryland was outshot early, but it didn’t matter. In a defensive battle, the Hawkeyes racked up 12 total shots — seven on goal — while Maryland managed 13 shots and seven on goal. However, Iowa held the edge in shots through the first three quarters, when Maryland was able to jump out to its lead. The Terps were obviously much more efficient, as the final score indicates.
“We just had to stop fouling,” Meharg said about second-half adjustments. “You can hear it with stick fouls and it becomes a choppy game, so your asking [for it] to become an officials game and we always try to stay away from that.”