The Maryland field hockey team huddles before their Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal game against Michigan State in College Park on Sunday, Oct. 29. (Emily Morina/The Left Bench)

Holliday’s double-digit save total preserves Terps 4-3 win over No. 3 Duke

In a showdown between two top-5 teams, the No. 4 ranked Maryland Terrapins field hockey team defeated visiting No. 3 Duke by a score of 4-3. The Terps get their first ever sweep of the Big Ten/ACC Cup with the Sunday afternoon win.

After a rough start in their previous game against Boston College, head coach Missy Meharg wanted her Maryland team to come out early and take control of possession early against Duke. The Terps responded to the challenge accordingly.

After Sarah Holliday made a sprawling save on a Duke breakaway opportunity a couple minutes prior, the Terps stopped back-to-back penalty corners, shifting the momentum of the game.

“Whenever I step on the field I know my first priority is to make sure my teammates know where they are especially with a team like Duke which is very dynamic, and likes to switch up in the backfield,” Holliday said. “Focusing on myself and my play comes naturally to me.”

With the momentum now in Maryland’s favor, freshman forward Bibi Donraadt put the Terps on the board with her deflection goal in the 14th minute. The freshman Donraadt is one of the Terps’ coveted young players on this already deep roster.

Just over one minute later, the Terps were awarded a penalty corner and a chance to extend their lead. Maryland’s top scorer from a year ago Bodil Keus scored her second goal of the season off assists by Sabrina Rhodes and Hannah Bond.

In the second half, Duke came out with a new energy and began controlling possession, wearing out the Terps in the extremely hot weather conditions. In the 45th minute, Duke was awarded a penalty corner, leading to a penalty stroke goal after a violation by Maryland. Duke junior midfielder Haley Schleicher scored off the stroke bringing Duke within one.

Birthday girl Melissa Wilken added her first goal of the season in the second half giving Maryland a much-needed insurance goal. The two-goal lead was once again short lived as Duke responded almost immediately as Olivia Sahaydak scored to bring it back within one.

Nike Lorenz continues to score goals for Maryland as the junior scored her sixth of the season, once again extending the lead for Maryland. For the second time, however, Duke brought it back to a one-goal deficit as Lily Posternak scored for the Blue Devils.

The rest of the game was all Sarah Holliday, as the senior goalkeeper provided several key stops for the Terps.

“She kept us in the game,” Meharg said. “She’s tenacious and she is a tough, tough goalie. She has the experience with Duke even from last year in the quarterfinals. I am pleased for her and we did honor her with player of the game.”

Holliday’s effort was crucial for Maryland as they begin their season 5-0 for the first time since 2013 where they finished 22-2 on the season. Sophomore defender Sophie Giezeman was very excited for the challenge to take on such a high-powered offense.

“We were all very excited to play Duke,” Giezeman said. “We felt pretty good, confident and we just played our best. We were not scared, we were just going.”

Maryland is off until next weekend where they take on the Delaware Blue Hens to begin the Maryland Invitational at College Park, Md.