By Brandon Schwartzberg
Sitting comfortably with a 2-0 lead, Maryland field hockey earned an early penalty corner. Following blocked shots from Hope Rose and Taylor Mason off the corner, Mason got a second chance to score and took advantage, as she fired in a shot that found the back of the cage to effectively wrap up the win for the Terps.
No. 8 Maryland dominated Michigan State on the road on Friday afternoon, taking an early 1-0 lead and never looking back en route to a comfortable 4-0 victory over a conference foe.
Maryland came out of the gates aggressive, looking to get onto the board early. And only 80 seconds into the game, the Terps did just that.
The Terps held possession of the ball near the goal, and a shot from forward Margot Lawn was fired straight into the back of the cage to put coach Missy Meharg’s squad up 1-0 early.
The early aggression for the Terps continued all throughout the first quarter, as they outshot Michigan State 9-1 after 15 minutes of action.
Maryland kept attacking in the second quarter, as only a few minutes in, the Terps added on to their lead.
The Terps were granted a penalty corner in the opening moments of the frame, and the send-in was taken and shot by midfielder Nathalie Fiechter. Fiechter’s shot found the goal, extending the Terps’ lead to 2-0.
The first half was completely controlled by Maryland, as the Terps outshot the Spartans 15-1. The Terps played stifling defense, not allowing Michigan State to find any type of rhythm on offense. Maryland’s offense wasn’t too shabby either, putting up a couple goals in the half. While there were certainly missed chances, Meharg’s squad couldn’t be too upset entering halftime up 2-0.
Michigan State looked to switch things up offensively in the second half, while Maryland looked to continue its strong first half play.
Maryland came out firing in the second half, looking to add on to their lead.
Following a string of shots off a corner, midfielder Julianna Tornetta held possession of the ball. Tornetta passed it over to midfielder Taylor Mason, whose rocket of a shot flew by the Spartans goalkeeper, putting the Terps up 3-0.
Only a couple minutes later, Maryland tacked on another.
On Maryland’s tenth penalty corner of the game, defender Maura Verleg deflected the shot of the corner into the back of the cage, making it that much harder for the Spartans to rattle off a comeback as their deficit grew to four.
Through three quarters of action, Michigan State was completely outplayed. Maryland outshot the Spartans 22-1, and the Terps seemed to have every answer to whatever the Spartans tried on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.
Maryland entered the fourth quarter controlling every aspect of the game, and all they needed to do in the final quarter was play like they had been to secure the victory.
Maryland’s superb play continued in the fourth quarter, as they coasted en route to a 4-0 victory, with their sights now set on No. 2 Michigan Sunday.
With the win, Maryland improved to 11-5, while Michigan State dropped to 7-6, and 0-6 in conference play.
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