Article by: Julian Basena
After losing in the National Championship, No. 2 Maryland field hockey looked to start the 2019 season strong. They hosted Richmond in their opener, with the Spiders hoping to play spoiler. The Terps were equal to the Spiders’ attacking mentality, pulling away from Richmond in the second quarter en route to a 5-1 win to open the season.
The Terps started their home opener with a promising attack against the Spiders. After multiple penalty shot attempts, defender Riley Donnelly was able to find the net, giving the Terps the lead after less than two minutes.
This attacking period lost momentum, with the Spiders answering with a goal of their own, a tidy finish from Addie Nash. Her goal only increased the Richmond pressure, as they pinned the Terps back on defense. After this score the Terps focused on communicating on defense and staying calm according to Donnelly.
Seven minutes into the first quarter, the Terps recaptured the lead. Forward Jen Bleakney deflected a shot off the leg of the keeper, easing Maryland’s nerves. The score was her first for the Terps. The rest of the quarter remained consistent back and forth. Richmond challenged the Terps backline, while Maryland had some looks of their own. However, Maryland retained a 2-1 lead.
Maryland broke the game open to begin the second quarter, striking for two more. The first was off another penalty shot by defender Bodil Keus, with midfielder Kyler Greenwalt providing the second.
“[Greenwalt] is such a service-oriented athlete, she’s so quick … she makes it her mission to close people down,” coach Missy Meharg said.
Maryland dominated the second quarter, pinning Richmond back into its own half and creating numerous opportunities. Their efforts were rewarded, with the home side opening up a 4-1 lead.
The third quarter was played more loosely. With a comfortable lead, Maryland introduced new faces, giving numerous players opportunities. This led to a few errant passes, and an ultimately uneventful period.
The fourth quarter turned a comfortable victory into a blowout. Maryland dominated possession, pinning Richmond back into their defensive zone. Midway through the fourth, the Terps added their fifth score. Greenwalt pounced on a rebound and finished into an open net to cap off a successful afternoon for the Terps.
Despite looking shaky at times, Maryland seized control of the game. With the offense firing, Maryland started the season in arguably the most productive way possible — a blowout win.