Maryland field hockey falls to Northwestern 2-1 for its first loss of the season

(Courtesy of Maryland Athletics)

It was a tale of two halves for the Terps (1-1, B1G) who at halftime led Northwestern 1-0, but 38 seconds into the second half Northwestern’s (1-1, B1G) forward/midfielder Mackenzie Keegan scored to tie the game. 

Northwestern midfielder Peyton Halsey broke the tie in the third quarter which amounted to be the game-winner, in the 2-1 loss. 

“Great Northwestern team,” head coach Missy Meharg said. “There were some individual players who took the game into their hands. I think [we] played great in the first two quarters. I was pleased with the quality of the match.”

In the first half, the Terps came out firing with nine shots and eight penalty corners. Defender Riley Donnelly scored the only goal for the Terps six minutes into the game. Midfielder Nathalie Fiechter and forward Bibi Donraadt were credited with the assist. That goal came off of one of Maryland’s seven first quarter penalty corners.

Donnelly was one of the bright spots for the team this weekend. The junior recorded both assists in Friday’s win and now has four points on the season.

“In Riley’s play and goal scoring on corners she is a really impactful player,” midfielder Brooke DeBerdine said. “But then also just her control and her confidence with the attacking forward has been really good for us and she is making a lot happen which was seen today.” 

One area of focus for the team this week in practice is executing better on their penalty corners, as the team is converting less than they’re accustomed to in the past.

“Penalty corners are about the speed of execution and accuracy,” Meharg said. “We are just not good enough yet and we need to be. “The cover players and second runners were able to get touches on the ball. We will be working very hard on that.”

Despite the struggles executing the penalty corners, Meharg is pleased with the number of them the Terps have taken through their first two games.

I’m very happy with the number of penalty corners we drew,” Meharg said. “We put ourselves in position to get on the board with more goals.”

Over the course of the game the Terps racked up four green cards two for forward/midfielder Taylor Mason and two for midfielder Emma DeBerdine. Those green cards proved costly as both Mason and Emma DeBerdine were sidelined for two minutes for each infraction. Three of the green cards came in the second half. 

“Our temperament was a little immature in the third and fourth quarter at times which caused us some cards and player down situations,” Meharg said. 

The Terps will be back in action on Friday when they take on Ohio State at 3 p.m. and will face Northwestern again on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Both games will once again be in Virginia Beach.

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