By: Victoria Ebner
The No. 10 Maryland Terrapins came up short against the No. 17 Princeton Tigers on Tuesday, losing 2-1 and snapping their four-game winning streak.
The Terrapins struggled to organize their defense against a dynamic Tiger offense and were unable to block Princeton’s quick moves up the field.
The Tigers took full advantage of the open space in the circle, smacking in a hard straight shot past goalie Sara Holiday just over three minutes into the game.
Attempting to correct their rocky beginning, the Terrapins adjusted their speed to sharpen their passing patterns, helping them begin to move around Princeton’s quick feet. Freshman defender Hannah Bond worked aggressively to work her way into the circle, earning Maryland’s first penalty corner of the game.
In terms of offense, senior midfielder Lein Holsboer agreed that effective passing is key.
“We just have to stay connected,” she said. “It’s just a matter of capitalizing our opportunities.”
Just five minutes later, the Terps carried out another penalty corner, ending with a deflected shot from senior defender Carrie Hanks.
Despite growing pressure from the Terps, their frantic push to get on the board caused their offense to become clustered, while Princeton spread out the field and easily maneuvered the ball down the sidelines.
The Tigers sunk their second goal with less than 10 minutes left in the half, raising the score to 2-0.
Defensively, Princeton also marked well in the circle, making quick interceptions and allowing their speedy forwards to achieve multiple breakaways.
The first half ended with seven shots and four corners for the Terrapins, and six shots and two corners for the Tigers.
The second half began with promise for Maryland with a successful penalty stroke from sophomore defender Bodil Keus, putting the Terps on the scoreboard.
Unfortunately for the home team, the Terps weren’t able to tie the game before the buzzer. After a few more attempts including an impressive reverse chip from junior forward Sabrina Rhodes and a last-minute corner from freshman midfielder Brooke DeBerdine, the game finished at 2-1.
DeBerdine, who worked tirelessly to keep up Maryland’s energy, noted that the lack of intensity in the first half was their biggest downfall.
“In the first half, we need to come out and play how we are going to play the whole game,” she said. “Set that standard from the beginning.”
Head coach Missy Meharg reiterates this concern about the offense, stating that good offense is all about accountability.
“I keep saying, they’re still gelling and getting used to each other,” Meharg said. “They need to get past that point… [They can’t] feel accountable for someone else to do it.”
The game ended with 12 total shots for Princeton and 14 for Maryland. Maryland also outnumbered the Tigers in corners, five to three.
Maryland will continue its season with a 5-3 overall record, facing Iowa and Northwestern later in the week.