By: Max Marcilla
Throughout the beginning of the 2016 season, the balanced offensive attack of the No. 7 Maryland Terrapins field hockey team guided the team to success.
But on Saturday afternoon in front of a large crowd at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex, the Terps needed their defense to hold the fort while the offense attempted to get going. Sarah Holliday’s career-high eight saves lead the Terps to a 4-1 win in their Big Ten opener against Indiana.
“I think it was a battle of goaltending today for a long time,” Maryland head coach Missy Meharg said post-game.
Indiana’s goalkeeper Noëlle Rother, who recorded 18 saves against the Terps in a game last season, stopped eight shots on Saturday.
The first goal Rother surrendered was to Terps’ sophomore Olivia Reiter, the first of Reiter’s career.
“Olivia Reiter is one of the most hard-working young women I’ve ever worked with,” Meharg said. “She’ll just run through a wall for her teammates… I think now that she’s on the board, we’ll see her in position to get more goals.”
Thanks to Holliday’s heroics, Maryland’s defense did enough to keep the Terps in the lead until back-to-back goals by Grace Balsdon and Lein Holsboer secured the Terrapins’ victory.
Holliday, who admitted she had been battling a sinus infection the past two weeks, was a key element in the win.
“Once we got going and I got into my groove, that felt really good,” Holliday said. “It just goes to show that you have to focus on the game and not let any distractions get in your way.”
Indiana shot the ball 12 times on Saturday, nine on net, giving Holliday a challenge she was ready to face.
“I think she was just very composed,” captain Lein Holsboer said. “Sarah’s very present in her circle, she really gets the whole team composed, and she’s just a really good goalie to have.”
It was a quality win for the Terrapins, who gear up for an out-of-conference meeting with No. 10 Princeton in New Jersey on Tuesday. Maryland is currently riding a four-game winning streak that started with an impressive 3-1 victory over No. 8 Boston College at the Big Ten/ACC Cup.