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No. 2 Maryland field hockey pulls off 6-3 comeback victory against No. 21 Ohio State

The Terps used a five-goal third period — including four scores in just over five minutes — to blaze past the Buckeyes.


With No. 2 Maryland field hockey trailing No. 21 Ohio State, 3-2, in the 39th minute, midfielder Madison Maguire dribbled into the circle past a couple of defenders and fired a back-handed shot into the back of the net to tie the game.

Less than a minute later, defender Riley Donnelly stole the ball and crossed it into the circle, where forward Bibi Donraadt extended her stick to deflect the pass into the cage for Maryland’s first lead of the game.

The Terps entered the second half scoreless and down by two goals, but used a five goal outburst — including four consecutive goals in around five minutes — in the third quarter to take a 6-3 victory over the Buckeyes.

“We know that we’re capable of making the impossible happen,” Donraadt said. “So we were just trying to pump each other up and make sure that we would bring the energy and score some goals.”

Maryland looked unstoppable with 10 consecutive wins, including five over top-10 opponents, heading into this weekend’s games.

But the Terps were shut out Friday against No. 9 Michigan, falling 1-0 in their first Big Ten loss of the season, and it looked like they might suffer another defeat in the early goings against the Buckeyes.

For the second time this weekend and just the third time all season, the Terps were entering the second half trailing. Maryland fired off three shots on goal in the first few minutes of the game, but was constantly denied by Ohio State goalkeeper Aaliyah Hernandez. And continued poor offense and sloppy passing led to a ton of Buckeyes’ takeaways and a 2-0 lead.

At the start of the second half, it looked like the Terps offense was ready to turn it around. Midfielder Emma DeBerdine passed the ball into the circle to defender Kelee Lepage, who swept the ball into the bottom left corner of the cage to shorten the cap to 2-1.

“You can definitely feel the energy starting in the second half leading to that goal,” Emma DeBerdine said. “It was definitely a good feeling and knew that we were in the game.”

Ohio State answered back just a minute later to regain a two goal lead off a corner of their own. But that lead would be short-lived, as Maryland finally found its groove to finish the period with four straight goals.

To cap off the comeback goals from Maguire and Donraadt, defender Bodil Keus fired a rocket at goal, which deflected off the stick of DeBerdine and bounced into the goal for a 5-3 lead.

“It definitely gives us a lot of energy,” DeBerdine said. “I feel like when you see the ball go in the back of the cage, it gives us a lot of energy. It makes you wanna keep working. From defense to offense, it just makes [us] feel confident with the ball and confident with our team.”

The Terps continued to push in the fourth quarter with the match back in their favor, adding on another goal from Donraadt to put the Buckeyes out of reach and turn the weekend around.

“For us though, we want to stop fooling around,” Meharg said. “We have to get on the field and dominate. And that’s what we’ll be working very hard to do as we get closer to postseason.”

Three things to know

  1. Maryland’s perfect history continues despite a close game. Entering this game, Maryland lead the all-time series against Ohio State, 14-0, including a 7-0 record since joining the Big Ten in 2014. Not only were they undefeated, but the Terps dominated, outscoring the Buckeyes, 31-5. Maryland’s history seemed to be in jeopardy, but the Terps’ offensive outburst in the second half continued the streak.
  2. The Terps just didn’t look right in the first half. On both sides of the field, Maryland looked out of sync. For the first time all year, the Terps allowed two goals in the first half, while being unable to score anything themselves.
  3. Maryland was able to bounce back and show off its offense. Maryland’s offense returned to old form in today’s win after a scoring spree in the third quarter. After totaling just four shots on goal against No. 9 Michigan on Friday, the Terps came out and poured on 16 total shots, 10 of which were on goal. As a result of the multitude of shots, Maryland matched its team-high in goals this season with six.

“It’s the type of pressure that you want a team like this to have to go through,” coach Missy Meharg said. “And I couldn’t be more proud of their reaction, action-wise after halftime.”