Penn State forward Abby Myers charged into the circle, taking a shot that forced No. 2 Maryland field hockey keeper Noelle Frost out of goal for a sliding save.
But despite the initial stop, the ball deflected off Frost and fell in front of Nittany forward Bree Bednarski for an open cage goal, putting the Terps down by a goal in the seventh minute.
The early goal by Bednarski would be the difference maker, as neither team was able to find the back of the cage for the next 53 minutes of game, eliminating Maryland from the Big Ten tournament with a 1-0 loss in the semifinal round.
Despite being the No. 1 seed and reigning Big Ten tournament champs, winning wasn’t a guarantee for Maryland. The Terps would have to go through No. 5 seed Penn State, who always serves as a formidable foe for them.
Since joining the Big Ten, the Terps are 6-3 against the Nittany Lions. However, when it’s come to the Big Ten tournament, they haven’t been as successful. In 2017, the pair met in the same round of the tournament, where Penn State scored a late game goal to bounce Maryland out of the tourney. Once again, Maryland fell prey to the same opponent.
The Terps were looking to flip the script and even up the series score in the tournament and came out of the gates and put the pressure on the Nittany Lions early and often.
Maryland kept the ball in Penn State’s territory for the first five minutes of the game, pouring on five shots, including three on goal. However, the Terps couldn’t get it past redshirt freshman keeper Brie Barraco.
On the other side of the field, Penn State was able to take advantage of the few opportunities it had in the early goings.
With time winding down in the third quarter, the Nittany Lions once again turned defense into offense. But this time, Frost wouldn’t allow the ball to get past her.
Junior forward Alexis Horst had a one-on-one opportunity on a breakaway against Frost, but the senior keeper came sprinting out of goal for a diving kick. The save shutdown a big opportunity for Penn State and kept the game within one goal.
With under eight minutes remaining in the game, senior forward Madison Maguire found the back of the cage after Barraco deflected an initial shot, but a whistle was blown just before her second shot attempt for goalie interference. After video review, it was confirmed a no goal and Maryland still trailed.
Maryland continued to struggle to convert on its offensive chances for the rest of the game, after failing to score on seven penalty corners. The Terps outshot the Nittany Lions, 15-7, including having nine shots on goal, but it didn’t matter as they weren’t able to pull out the victory.
Three things to know
- Brie Barraco was excellent in the cage for Penn State. The Terps had a ton of offensive chances, but Barraco was a wall in goal for Penn State. The redshirt freshman showed up against one of the nation’s top teams and recorded eight saves. Barraco has been hot in cage lately, now allowing just two goals in her last four games.
- The Terps were held scoreless for just the third time this season. In all three of the Terps’ losses this season, they were shut out. Similar to both of the games prior to this, Maryland outshot its opponent, but the scoreboard didn’t indicate it.
- Maryland was shut out in a Big Ten tourney game for the first time. Not only was this the first time that the Terps had been held scoreless in the conference tournament, but it’s also the only time that the Terps have lost in the first game they played in.