By Brandon Schwartzberg
No. 8 Maryland field hockey returned to conference play when they took on No. 3 Rutgers in a high-intensity defensive battle on the road in Piscataway Friday afternoon. After a scoreless first half, Rutgers jumped out to a 1-0 lead early in the third quarter, in what resulted as the only score from either side.
Strong defense carried Rutgers to the 1-0 win, moving the Scarlet Knights to 11-2 on the year, and 4-1 in conference play. With the loss, the Terps dropped to 9-5, and 1-4 in Big Ten play.
The first quarter was a defensive battle, as neither team found any type of rhythm and momentum on offense. Neither team was awarded a penalty corner attempt, and there was only one total shot put up.
The lone shot of the first quarter came just over five minutes into play, when Rutgers looked to get on the board first. The Scarlet Knights had possession of the ball, looking to be the aggressor early on. Senior midfielder Milena Redlingshoefer fired in a shot, looking for her fifth goal of the season, but good Maryland defense blocked the shot, thwarting the chance for Rutgers.
With the game scoreless going into the second quarter, both teams looked to switch things up offensively.
The first penalty corner of the game for either side came from Maryland midfielder Emma DeBerdine, midway through the second quarter. DeBerdine sent it in, and forward Hope Rose had a good look to put the Terps up, but good Rutgers defense blocked her shot, keeping the game scoreless.
Late in the second quarter, Maryland was awarded with their second and third penalty corners of the game. But like their first, the Terps were unable to convert on either.
Both of Maryland’s back-to-back penalty corners were taken in by Emma DeBerdine. The first of which was shot by defender Riley Donnelly, but a good save by the Rutgers goalkeeper Gianna Glatz kept Maryland off the board. On their second of back-to-back corners, Donnelly delivered a beautiful behind-the-back pass to forward Julianna Tornetta, but Tornetta’s shot was blocked, adding another save to Glatz’s statsheet.
The game went into halftime tied 0-0, as a defensive clinic was put up in the first half. Both teams went into halftime looking to adjust their gameplans, finding some way to put a goal on the board.
Shortly into the third quarter, Rutgers scored the first goal of the season, coming off a penalty stroke.
In what seemed like a missed opportunity for Rutgers on offense, video review awarded the Scarlet Knights with a penalty stroke. Milena Redlingshoefer buried the shot for Rutgers, scoring a massive goal for the Scarlet Knights to put them up 1-0.
The stroke from Redlingshoefer was only Rutgers’ third penalty stroke of the season, moving them to a perfect three-for-three in that category.
Around nine minutes into the third quarter, Maryland was awarded with their fourth and fifth penalty corners of the game, but couldn’t convert on either.
The Terps managed to fire off two shots off their fourth corner, but neither found the back of the cage. The shot from Julianna Tornetta missed wide, and the shot sent in by Hope Rose was saved by Gianna Glatz.
On their fifth corner, Hope Rose once again rifled in a shot, but the same old story was written, as another great save by Gianna Glatz kept the Terps off the board.
Through three quarters, Maryland played as the more aggressive team offensively, firing off 13 shots to Rutgers’ 6. However, excellent work by the Scarlet Knights defense, headlined by Gianna Glatz’s 10 saves, kept the Terps off the board, allowing Rutgers to go into the fourth quarter with a slim 1-0 lead.
Neither team found anything on offense in the fourth quarter, as only two shots total were taken, both coming from the Terps. The Rutgers defense didn’t break, as their strong play continued in the final quarter, closing out the shutout win for the Scarlet Knights.
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