Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics.

Quick offense and stifling defense propel No. 2 Maryland to dominant victory over Ohio State

After beginning the season 7-0, No. 2 Maryland (8-0, 1-0 B1G) opened up conference play in dominant fashion defeating Ohio State (6-3, 0-1 B1G) 16-1.

The Terps held their opponent to one goal for the second time this season, defeating UMBC 18-1 on February 27. It is the first time Maryland held two opponents to one goal in the same season since 1996. The one goal performance is also the lowest the Terps have given up to any conference opponent since joining in 2014.

While the Terps played suffocating defense, nine different players scored a goal getting contributions from all across the roster. Kali Hartshorn led Maryland with five first half goals, starting the scoring just over two minutes into the game. In addition to her scoring success, Hartshorn excelled in the draw circle winning six draws and providing consistent possessions for Maryland.

Maryland’s offensive success can be attributed to shooting efficiency, similar to its last victory against Penn on Wednesday. The Terps converted seven of their eight free position opportunities and scored on 55 percent of their shots overall. Shooting above 50 percent has been a formula for success this season for Maryland.

“When we’re over 50 percent [shooting], I like that it’s good,” head coach Cathy Reese said after the win against Penn.

Quick ball movement and speed in the offensive zone forced the Buckeye defense into tough positions, leading to eight free position opportunities- including six in the first half. Six of the Terps 12 first half goals were scored on free position opportunities, converting from inside eight meters. The senior trio of Jen Giles, Meghan Siverson and Caroline Steele all contributed two goals in the well balanced effort.

However, the Terps defense was also outstanding all game long forcing Ohio State into ten turnovers consistently putting their sticks into the passing lanes. Whenever the Buckeyes were able to generate shots on net, Megan Taylor was up to the task pitching a first half shutout.

“We held a team that’s been putting up over 10 goals a game to one goal, all three goalies played great and had some awesome saves,” Reese said. “Our defense was phenomenal.”

Taylor’s strong start to her senior season continued with eight saves, stonewalling any first half opportunities for Ohio State before she was taken out. Her eighth and final save of the first half is one that Taylor will never forget. Squaring her stick to the shooter, Taylor routinely stopped the outside bounce shot for career save No. 600. She joined unique company, becoming just the third goalie in program history to reach the milestone another achievement in her illustrious career.

Leading by 12 goals at halftime, Reese looked to the bench allowing some of the underclassmen to get more game action under their belt. Freshman attacker Julia Hoffman scored her fourth goal of the season, while the sophomore defender duo of Laurie Bracey and Brooke Robbins each forced a turnover.

It was an all around great day for the Terps, opening conference play with a victory and raising over $1800 for juvenile diabetes. Maryland will now travel to State College on Thursday, with its first road conference game against No. 19 Penn State.