In her first game eligible, transfer midfielder Linda Cobano made her presence felt for No. 2 Maryland field hockey.
On the penalty corner with time winding down in the fourth quarter against No. 13 Boston College, Cobano rocketed a pass from fellow midfielder Madison Maguire into the top left corner of the cage for the score.
“For Linda Cobano to have the pressure of that goalie, [who] was really the strong on our penalty corners,” coach Missy Meharg said. “Her drive... was phenomenal, really gave us some confidence.”
The corner chance was the Terps’ eighth of the game, but it was the first they were able to capitalize on. They did so at just the right moment, putting the game out of reach en route to a 3-1 victory — their first over a ranked team this season.
After a slow start in the first quarter for both teams, the Terps found the back of the cage first, with just under three minutes to go in the period. The ball found the stick of senior Madison Maguire in the circle after a deflected shot, who then ripped a back-handed shot past Boston College goalie, Jonna Kennedy for a 1-0 lead.
Maryland (3-0) virtually didn’t allow any offense in the first quarter until just under a minute remaining when the Eagles drew a penalty corner. With 16 seconds remaining in the period, Boston College (1-2) scored the equalizer, which came from junior Jaime Natale for her first goal of the year.
After being unable to make the most of its three penalty corner opportunities in the second, Maryland stopped a Boston College push and turned it into instant offense with four minutes remaining in the quarter. Freshman midfielder Belle Bressler found fellow freshman midfielder Emma DeBerdine on the left side of the circle, who slapped a shot off an Eagles’ defender’s stick which bounced its way into the cage to take a 2-1 lead. It was the first collegiate goal of DeBerdine’s career.
“It was surprising because it went off the defender’s stick, but it was really exciting,” DeBerdine said. “I’ve been trying to get a goal for the past few games, but a goal is a goal!”
But the Terps couldn't manage to create separation with the Eagles and with under a minute remaining in the third quarter, Boston College drew back-to-back penalty corners. Senior keeper, Noelle Frost came in clutch and made a couple of diving stops to preserve the Maryland lead.
After the saves, the Terps got it out of their backfield and marched down into enemy territory. Maryland ripped a shot into the back of the cage as time expired, which would’ve put the Terps up 3-1, but the shot didn't count after video review. But the quarter later in the fourth quarter would finally seal the deal for Maryland.
“I’m very happy...BC is a very very strong team, they always are,” Meharg said. “They are very well coached, it’s a very good win for us. We got good players off the bench and into the game and you know, we sustained a brand of hockey.”
Three things to know
- Maryland was constantly on attack. It seemed like Maryland had the ball on Boston College’s field for the majority of the game. The Terps poured on 14 shots, compared to the Eagles’ eight and also had eight penalty corners, while Boston College only had four.
- The Terps had a tough time finding the cage. Although Maryland outshot Boston College, the Terps still had difficulty getting it past Eagles keeper Jonna Kennedy. In Kennedy’s only start of the season before this game, she faced nine shots and made three saves, while allowing one goal. Against Maryland, Kennedy faced 14 shots and made seven saves.
- There were lots of first time goal scorers for Maryland. For Emma DeBerdine and Linda Cobano, it was their first game ever against a ranked college opponent. However, the moment didn’t seem to phase them. DeBerdine has been a menace for opposing defenses all season long, but today she finally found the back of the cage for her first collegiate goal. Cobano was able to make the most of her first NCAA game, giving Maryland a late two-goal lead.