After defeating Ohio State in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament 9-1, the Maryland field hockey team completed their Big Ten Championship journey with a win against No. 8 Iowa 2-1.
The Terps moved into Sunday’s matchup with one goal — winning the Big Ten championship. With the statement win against the Buckeyes on Friday, Maryland leaders Linnea Gonzales and Bodil Keus needed to turn the team’s attention to the Big Ten title game.
Head coach Missy Meharg’s core kept their eyes on the prize, claiming their 25th conference championship in school history. The win also clinches Maryland’s 24th straight NCAA Tournament appearance for the school dating back to 1995.
Junior midfielder Madison Maguire opened up the scoring five minutes into the game. Maguire was facing off against her sister, freshman Makenna Maguire, and Madison received the upper hand on the score sheet with the first goal of the game.
Just before the end of the half, Bibi Donraadt continued her impressive freshman campaign with her 12th goal of the season, giving Maryland a two-goal lead heading into halftime.
In the second half, Iowa began to get better scoring chances. Senior goalkeeper Sarah Holliday stopped several key shots in the half to keep Maryland in the lead. However, in the 45th minute junior midfielder Katie Birch scored her eighth goal of the year to put the Hawkeyes on the board. That goal would not be enough, however, as the Terps would escape with the close victory.
Senior captain Linnea Gonzales was awarded player of the tournament with her outstanding leadership and play for Maryland. Holliday finished the game with five saves to preserve the championship for Maryland and punch their ticket to the NCAA Tournament. The Terps now await their first-round opponent who they will welcome into College Park on Friday.