Maryland field hockey bounces back against Penn State with late game-winning goal

(Courtesy of Maryland Athletics)

With two minutes left in a 2-2 tie, midfielder Emma DeBerdine sent the ball to an open forward Bibi Donraddt who shot the ball through the legs of Penn State goalie Brie Barraco for the game-winning goal.

Donraadt’s second goal of the game gave the Terps (3-3, B1G) a 3-2 win and a much-needed victory after an ugly 3-0 loss to Penn State (2-3, B1G) just two days before. 

“Yesterday we spent about two and half hours just letting [the players] speak, watch the footage and just talk about stuff,” head coach Missy Meharg said. “We talked about being urgent and we talked about being very simple and giving that energy to each other. Couldn’t be more proud of the team.”

The Terps opened up the first quarter with two goals in the first six minutes of the game, one by Donraadt and the other by Emma DeBerdine, all four of the Terps’ first quarter shots were on goal.

“I think it was a great team effort,” Donraadt said. “We did everything together as one big Maryland family until the end. 

However, the Nittany Lions dominated the second quarter with five penalty corners. They capped off the quarter with two goals scored by defender Anna Simon and forward Bree Bednarski in a six-minute span tying the game at 2.

Emma DeBerdine, the Terps’ leading returning scorer from last season broke out of her slump. Before Sunday’s contest, Emma DeBerdine had only registered five shots, but she scored her first goal and tallied her first assist of the season against the Nittany Lions. 

“I think in that segment of the game we all were just so tired which is why the gaps just opened up like in the field everywhere,” Donraadt said. “That’s why this counter worked well because normally Penn State had at least eight girls in the circle, but there was a lot more space. Emma did a great job by pulling all of the defenders towards her because of that the ball deflected and I was there. I’m really glad I touched it.”  

Defender Maura Verleg and forward Mayv Clune also each picked up their first assists of the season. Maryland was much more efficient shooting against Penn State with nine of its 10 shots on goal.

“The piece that made it so much easier for us [the offense] to be opportunistic was the level of support from the midfield,” Meharg said. “The way they sprinted and the back sprinted. You can be a very dangerous team when you can thread a ball from the back third to the front third and Maura showed us that she is able to do that today.” 

Goalie Noelle Frost was brilliant with nine saves in the game including five in the second quarter and three in the third quarter. 

The Terps will return to College Park for their home opener against Indiana on March 19 and March 21. 

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