By Brandon Schwartzberg
No. 8 Maryland field hockey returned home Sunday when they took on No. 17 Connecticut, with head coach Missy Meharg looking for her 600th career victory.
Maryland dominated the first three quarters, and despite hiccups in the final quarter, the Terps held on and won 3-2 for Meharg’s 600th win. With the victory, the Terps improved to 10-5, while Connecticut dropped to 8-8 following the loss.
Maryland started out firing from the very beginning of the game, looking to put immediate pressure on Connecticut. With just over five minutes gone by in the game, the Terps did just that, getting a goal on the board to put Connecticut in an early hole.
Following a flurry of shots following a penalty corner, Maryland’s Emma DeBerdine found the back of the cage, as she scored her fourth goal of the season.
DeBerdine’s shot came close to the goal, only five yards out. DeBerdine rifled the ball directly into the back of the cage to put the Terps up 1-0, resulting in a loud ovation from the home crowd.
Maryland’s defense was in complete control of the first quarter, not allowing a single Huskies shot. The defensive intensity for the Terps has been at an all time high the past few games, and it continued into the start of this one.
The outstanding defense added with the aggressive offense provided a first quarter the Terps would take any and every day of the week, as they entered the second quarter up 1-0.
With just under four minutes left in the second quarter Maryland was given a chance to add on to their lead with a penalty corner, but were unable to convert.
The corner was taken by Emma DeBerdine and sent to Hope Rose, but the freshman couldn’t add another goal to her count this season, as her shot was blocked by the Huskies defense.
The entire first half was controlled by the Terps, both on offense and defense. While Maryland only put up one goal after two quarters of action, they put up eight shots, playing as the aggressor. The defense didn’t allow a single shot from the Connecticut offense, absolutely stifling anything the Huskies attempted to do offensively.
Entering the third quarter up 1-0, Maryland looked to continue their dominant performance, while Connecticut looked to flip a switch for the second half.
Shortly into the third quarter, Maryland added on another to their lead.
Maryland was awarded with a penalty corner after officials went to video review, and they sure did take advantage. The initial shot from Hope Rose off the corner was blocked by the Huskies defense, but Belle Bressler was right there for the Terps, who fired in the rebound from the outside of the circle to put Maryland up 2-0.
With four minutes left in the third quarter, Connecticut was awarded a much needed penalty corner, as they looked to get on the board and back in the game.
Aiyi Young sent in the corner, and Claire Jandewerth took the shot for the Huskies. Jandewerth’s shot was blocked by the Terps defense, as while Connecticut finally attempted a shot, Maryland’s excellent defense kept the Huskies off the scoreboard.
The third quarter ended with the Terps up 2-0, as their dominant play carried over from the first half.
Only a minute into the fourth quarter, Maryland added another goal to their lead, seemingly putting away the game.
Hope Rose sent the ball to Emma DeBerdine, positioned perfectly in front of the goal, who fired in a shot into the lower corner for her second goal of the season, to extend the Terps lead to 3-0.
Connecticut avoided the shutout as they finally got onto the scoreboard late in the fourth quarter. Kourtney Kennedy rifled in a shot for the Huskies off a penalty corner, trimming the Terps lead to two.
Just a minute later, the Huskies added another goal, finding offense out of nowhere. The Huskies’ McKenna Sergi rifled in a hard shot into the bottom of the cage, making it a 3-2 game, with pressure now put on the Terps to hold onto the win.
Connecticut took out their goalie right after the Sergi goal, looking for more offense. However, Maryland held off the Huskies just long enough to secure the 3-2 win.