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No. 3 Maryland field hockey opens Big Ten play with a 3-1 victory over No. 24 Penn State

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The Terps have won every conference opener since 2014.

Bodil Keus Maryland field hockey Sarah Sopher / Testudo Times

With Maryland field hockey up by three goals late in the fourth quarter, Penn State began to pose a threat, drawing seven penalty corners in the span of just a few minutes.

But goalkeeper Noelle Frost made a number of diving saves while only allowing one goal to preserve the Terps lead for a 3-1 victory.

“We did get a little un-composed when it came to the number of corners we gave up,” Frost said. “However, once we got the corner, we just looked at each other and said ‘Okay, forget what just happened.’ ... We just had to get into goal make our saves, and then move on.”

Just this past week, Frost was named both the Big Ten and NFHCA Defensive Player of the Week, and the senior proved worthy against Penn State. She put on a clinic in goal, saving seven shots and allowing just one score.

Going into the final quarter of play, Frost only had to make one save.

In the 20th minute, a deflected shot found the stick of junior Emma Spisak. The midfielder had an open look just a few feet from goal, but keeper Frost dove to her right and swallowed up the shot.

Minutes after the save by Frost, the Terps pushed the ball into Penn State territory. Senior Kelee Lepage found fellow senior Madison Maguire who found the back of the net. The goal was Maguire’s fifth goal of the season, which leads all Terps.

With a 2-0 lead, the Terps continued to play with much more intensity than the Nittany Lions. As a result, Maryland continued to have plenty of offensive chances off of penalty corners.

At the end of the first half, the Terps had outshot the Nittany Lions, 7-2. Through three periods of play, Penn State only had three shots and two corner chances.

But the Nittany Lions found their momentum in the fourth quarter, outshooting the Terps 11-5 with seven penalty corners.

“The fourth quarter we kind of fell apart, I think we were a little looking at the outcome of the game before the game was done,” head coach Missy Meharg said. “All in all, I’m super pleased. Penn State is so athletic, they’re very very young, they’re not an 0-5 team coming in here, they have a wicked strong schedule.”

Maryland finished the game with 19 shots with 11 on goal, while Penn State’s late attack push gave them a total 14 shots, nine of which were on net.

“The first three quarters, we really kept our focus,” junior defender Bodil Keus said. “In the fourth quarter, we [had] a little bit [of difficulty], and we just need to get back to our basics and just do the simple thing.”

And while the Nittany Lions picked up a goal to cut the deficit, Frost’s play combined with a dwindling game clock proved too much to overcome.

Three things to know

  1. Madison Maguire led the charge. Senior midfielder Madison Maguire recorded a goal and an assist against the Nittany Lions, marking her fifth score and sixth assist on the year. Maguire now leads the team in both categories.
  2. A revenge victory tastes sweet. In 2018, Maryland only recorded one loss in Big Ten play, and that loss came at the hands of Penn State. This time around, the Terps were able to make a statement and pick up a dominating win.

“It was in the back of my head during warmups because I just remember [assistant coach Marvin] Bam coming up to me and he was discussing the corners that we went over,” Frost said. “He said, ‘Remember last year when they scored on us on this corner?’”

3. Big Ten openers continue in the Terps’ favor. Since Maryland field hockey joined the Big Ten in 2014, the program hasn’t lost a Big Ten opener. Last season, they posted a 7-1 mark in Big Ten play, and this team seems well on its way to a similar season.