By Brandon Schwartzberg
No. 7 Maryland field hockey took on the California Golden Bears as part of the second day of Terrapin Invitational, with Maryland defeating California by a final score of 4-0. Maryland moves to 4-1 on the year, while Cal drops to 3-2 as they head back home to Berkeley.
“To have back-to-back games where you’re taking 23, 24 shots and to find a way to be disciplined and find the goal cage and get great, great goals is promising,” coach Missy Meharg said following the win. “We always say that defense wins championships and with three straight shutouts, that’s the name of the game.”
The Terps started the game as the more aggressive team, and that continued all throughout the game as Maryland outshot Cal 24 to 3.
Maryland was awarded with their first penalty corner with just under five minutes left in the first, but were unable to convert. Forward Bibi Donraadt took it in, and she sent it to Taylor Mason, but her shot was blocked after a beautiful diving save by the Golden Bears goalie Cato Knipping.
With 3:16 remaining in the first the Terps had their second penalty corner of the game, which led to the first score of the game. Donraadt took it in again, but the California defense deflected the ball away.
The rebound then found its way to Maryland, and after some passing, including an assist from midfielder Kyler Greenwalt, midfielder Belle Bressler scored her first goal of the season to give the Terps a 1-0 lead, which was the only scoring of the first quarter.
“That was a really exciting moment for me. I’ve been working really hard at goal scoring, framing the goal, and just an awesome feeling to get that support from your teammates and finally get that first goal,” Bressler said.
The Golden Bears didn’t have their first penalty corner chance come until 6:50 left in the second. Midfielder Brynn Zorilla sent the ball in, but a botched set by California ruined that chance as they turned the ball over back to Maryland, still without a goal on the board.
Maryland was clearly the most aggressive team of the first half, as they put up six more shots than the Golden Bears. However, five saves by Cato Knipping kept the lead to only one, as Maryland went to halftime with a 1-0 lead.
With just two minutes gone by in the third, the Terps managed to add on to their slim 1-0 lead to give themselves some breathing room, as the lead extended to 2-0. After some nifty evasion from Kyler Greenwalt, Greenwalt was able to fling the ball by the goalie after a rebound and an assist by midfielder Julianna Tornetta for her second goal of the season.
Just a few minutes later in the third, the Terps upped their lead to 3-0 after some great passing and heads up play by Maryland. Anna Castaldo knocked in her first goal of the season after a deflected shot from the left side from Margot Lawn, as Lawn was credited with the assist.
With just over three minutes left in the third quarter, the Terps were given four straight penalty corner opportunities, all taken in by Bibi Donraadt, and Maryland unable to convert on any of them. Maryland couldn’t convert on the first corner after the set and shot attempt.
The second attempt was set again, but the Maura Verleg shot attempt missed just wide. The third corner came after an official review, but the shot by Julianna Tornetta was blocked. The fourth and last corner was missed wide by Julianna Tornetta, and the Terps lead remained 3-0 after that sequence of events.
The third quarter was not one to remember for Cal, as they got outscored 2-0 in the quarter, while not putting up any shots on the board.
The Terps were given a string of penalty corners to open up the fourth, upping their corner total to twelve, but were unable to convert on any of them. Emma DeBerdine took all of them in, but the team couldn’t manage to get the ball into the cage.
The string of corners included blocked shots from Taylor Mason and Riley Donnelly, along with a high shot over the cage missed by Taylor Mason.
With a minute and a half left in the game Maryland added on one more goal to the total, making it 4-0. Julianna Tornetta ripped the ball by the Cal defense after a deflection, with an assist from Anna Castaldo.
As the clock in the fourth quarter winded down Maryland played more conservatively, trying to chew clock in the final minute, as they won comfortably 4-0.
“I think we were really excited with our performance today and we’ve been working the past few days on goal scoring. Scoring is a lot of fun and we played really well today so I think everyone enjoyed it,” Castaldo said.
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