By Brandon Schwartzberg
No. 4 Maryland field hockey (12-5, 3-4 B1G) returns home for the season finale as they take on conference foe No. 24 Ohio State (7-9, 1-6).
In their most recent matchup on the road against No. 2 Michigan, the Terps pulled off a massive upset, downing the Wolverines 2-1.
Maryland got on the board first, as with less than five minutes to go in the first quarter, Freshman Hope Rose deflected in a Taylor Mason shot from the far post for an early 1-0 lead.
Strong defense in the second quarter from both teams kept the Terps up 1-0 entering halftime, as neither team found rhythm on offense.
Michigan responded to the Rose goal midway through the third quarter, as Sofia Southam scored her 17th goal of the season, which leads the Big Ten.
The Wolverines’ Nina Apoola found Southam near the circle, whose rocket of a shot flung past Maryland goalkeeper Noelle Frost, tying the game at one-a-piece.
Maryland made sure the tie game didn’t last for long, as the Terps regained the lead later in the third quarter.
Julianna Tornetta sent the ball into the circle from the right side and found Bibi Donraadt near the goal, whose Donraadt’s deflection got just enough by the Wolverines goalkeeper to put the Terps back in front 2-1.
The fourth quarter was a high intensity battle, with both teams playing at their highest levels. The excellent Terps defense prevailed, as Michigan failed to find anything on offense, despite removing their goalkeeper for extra offense with just under five minutes left in the game.
“Something that’s really important for us to talk about is our approach this past weekend. We were really confident. Everyone had a lot of belief in one another and in the team and I think that coming off the weekend our practices have been really good and intense and everyone wants to do everything for one another,” Greenwalt said.
Despite the lone goal allowed against Michigan, Frost was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week for the fifth time in her career. Frost was also named the NFHCA National Defensive Player of the Week for the fourth time in her career.
In the 2-1 win Sunday against No. 2 Michigan, Frost made six saves, tying her season high. Friday at Michigan State, Frost picked up her sixth shutout of the year.
“Michigan has always been a competitor for us, like I know going into those games they will die for tips. They will be reckless in the circle and just do anything they can to get the ball into the cage so it’s more or less just staying composed and strong and making sure your defenders are aware of where everyone is and where the ball is,” Frost said.
Ohio State comes into this one following a 3-1 loss to No. 3 Rutgers, their fourth defeat in a row, as they’ve been outscored in that span 13-1.
Rutgers scored first early in the game, and the Buckeyes responded with their own goal from Sarah Charley only a few minutes later.
Charley redirected a cross from the end line off the stick of Hallie Brost to even up the game. The Charley goal was the last score of the first half, as the game went into halftime tied 1-1.
Rutgers scored goals in both the third and fourth quarters to seal the win for the Scarlet Knights, playing spoiler for the Buckeyes’ final home game of the season.
The Terps will be the Buckeyes tenth ranked opponent played thus far, as they haven’t fared well in their previous nine matchups, going 2-7.
Maryland has yet to lose in the all-time history with Ohio State, as the Terps are a perfect 16-0 against the Buckeyes. Most recently, the Terps downed the Buckeyes 2-0 in Virginia Beach on March 5, 2021.
The game on Friday will start at 6 p.m. and will take place at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex in College Park.