By Gillian Vesely
While College Park is gearing up for a marquee football matchup on Saturday between the Maryland Terrapins and the Ohio State Buckeyes, students and fans may not realize that another contest between these two schools has already occurred this weekend. University of Maryland field hockey took to the turf Friday afternoon and handed the Buckeyes a 6-0 loss in the sport’s inaugural Big Ten home opener.
The Terps opened with their signature aggressive style and did not relent, opening a 4-0 at halftime.
Junior defender Sarah Sprink led the Terps on the defensive end, but a handful of players contributed to the Terps’ offensive success.
Maryland’s first goal came from junior midfielder Anna Dessoye’s rebound of a corner with under 10 minutes remaining in the first half. But it was the next Maryland goal, the first of senior forward Katie Gerzabek’s two on the day, that left the crowd talking.
After stifling an Ohio State corner, Maryland’s defense got the ball to freshman forward/midfielder Moira Putsch. Putsch quickly crossed the ball to set up a shot for Gerzabek, who dove head first to send the ball by Ohio State goalkeeper, Liz Tamburro.
After the game, Maryland coach Missy Meharg praised Gerzabek’s outgoing style of play.
“That’s what she does,” Meharg said. “She’ll sacrifice anything for her team.”
Gerzabek and Putsch, however, were not finished.
With less than three minutes to go in the half, the players switched roles. Gerzabek lifted a pass to Putsch, who tipped the high ball from the far post into the goal.
With Ohio State playing conservatively in an effort to end the half, the Terps pounced once more, this time in an unassisted rebound off of a corner by freshman midfielder Lein Holsboer. Holsboer’s first career goal as a Terrapin gave her team a 4-0 lead and all of the game’s momentum heading into the break.
While the Terps dominated on the offensive end in the first half, they could not have done so without the stout play of redshirt senior goalie Brook Cabrera, who made four key saves, using both her stick and her body.
The Terps continued to make big plays after halftime, despite their comfortable lead.
Just two minutes into the second half, Gerzabek notched her second goal of the game, pushing the Terrapin lead to five scores.
The opportunities were plentiful for the Terps, but not all of their looks resulted in points. Shortly after Gerzabek’s second tally, Putsch drove a shot on goal so hard that it ricocheted off the glove of Tamburro for the save.
Redshirt sophomore Emma Rissinger contributed a goal of her own off of a Gerzabek assist across the goal with just under 19 minutes remaining in the game, rounding out the Terps’ six goals.
Maryland’s junior goalie Jill Genovese helped preserve Cabrerra’s shutout as she relieved her with under nine minutes remaining. She recorded two saves of her own.
With the victory fresh in her mind, Gerzabek noted that, while opening the Big Ten home schedule was significant, the team was able to rise above the hype.
“There wasn’t really any talk about it,” Gerzabek said. “We just played our normal game and played together to win.”