File photo by Joel Valley/The Left Bench

Maryland field hockey loses to No.1 Connecticut 2-1 in NCAA final

Although Terrapin freshman Kyler Greenwalt scored in the 40th minute, the Maryland field hockey team was unable to bounce back after going down 2-1 in the NCAA championship game against Connecticut on Sunday afternoon, as the Huskies captured this year’s NCAA DI championship.

At the start, the Connecticut defense held off Maryland’s attack, and the Terps were unable to breach the Huskies’ zone for the first five minutes of the game. Even after Maryland gained possession its advances continued to be stopped as passes were intercepted and the ball taken by Connecticut players.

The Terps’ passes weren’t the only ones being intercepted, however, and with just over 25 minutes left in the first half the Huskies suffered a number of intercepted passes as well.

Then, Maryland freshman midfielder Brooke DeBerdine carried the ball up the far side, using her speed to beat three Connecticut players. DeBerdine’s fastbreak ended with the ball being knocked out of play, and the Huskies regained possession seconds later.

Connecticut’s possession was short lived, as the Maryland attackers forced the Huskies’ defense back to their baseline, delaying any attack from the Connecticut defense.

With just over 20 minutes remaining in the first half, the Huskies made their move. Senior forward Charlotte Veitner received a pass in front of the Terps’ goal as she was guarded by Maryland senior defender Carrie Hanks. Veitner looked over her shoulder, taking a reverse shot and tucking the ball into the far corner of the net. Veitner’s goal put Connecticut up 1-0 and marked the first shot of the game.

Following Veitner’s goal, both teams were at an impasse, with the majority of play taking place in the midfield as both teams’ attempts at fast breaks were stopped.

With just over 22 minutes left in the half the Terps were awarded the first penalty corner of the game, but were unable to capitalize on the opportunity as sophomore defender Bodil Keus’ shot was saved by Huskies redshirt senior goalkeeper Nina Klein.

Then, with four minutes left in the first half, Maryland sophomore defender Kelee Lepage carried the ball into the circle, beating four Connecticut players in the process. Lepage knocked the ball toward the goal, but Klein saved the shot and the Huskies remained in the lead.

Within two minutes after Lepage’s shot, Veitner took two shots of her own within twenty seconds. The first, a shot from in front of the Maryland net, was deflected high as Terrapin junior goalkeeper Sarah Holliday slid out to stop Veitner’s attack. The second, a shot from the right side, was saved by Holliday.

As the clock ran down, the Terps struggled to gain control and even the score. With just seconds left in the first half, Maryland senior midfielder Lein Holsboer trapped a pass from a teammate, rushing to take a shot before the half ended. Holsboer’s shot went wide, and the half ended with Connecticut up 1-0 and both teams tied at three shots apiece.

The second half held more intercepted passes and changes of possession, as the Terps came out with more aggression, continuing to search for that elusive equalizer.

Then, just over five minutes into the second half, Maryland drew its second penalty corner of the game. This time the Terps were able to capitalize on the opportunity, finding the equalizer they needed to remain in contention for the win.

As Holsboer completed the insert, the ball ended up loose in front of the net, eventually finding freshman midfielder Kyler Greenwalt’s stick. Greenwalt took the shot and scored, tying the game 1-1.

Shortly after Greenwalt’s goal, Holsboer took a shot of her own, however, Klein saved it and the score remained even at one.

With just over 11 minutes left on the clock, Maryland sophomore midfielder Madison Maguire got a shot on goal, but the shot was high and Klein easily knocked it away.

Three minutes later, Connecticut sophomore midfielder Barbara van den Hoogen stole the ball from the Terps, her pass finding Veitner on the attack. Veitner’s reverse chip flew past Holliday, and put the Huskies up 2-1 with just over eight minutes left in the game.

At the 5:30 mark the Terps were awarded back-to-back penalty corners, but were unable to take advantage of them as the first shot was saved and the shot off the second corner deflected off a player’s stick and wide.

With about three minutes left in the game Maryland pulled Holliday, opting instead for an extra field player. That effort fell short, however, and as the clock dwindled down the Terps were unable to score, falling to the Huskies 2-1.

Maryland ended the game with seven shots to Connecticut’s five, and Holliday made one save. Klein made five saves in the game.