The latest installment of the Maryland Northwestern rivalry lived up to its hype in a tightly-contested battle throughout.
After the Terps’ (2-2 B1G) only fourth quarter penalty corner was blocked, Northwestern (3-1 B1G) sent a deep pass to forward Bente Baekers. She scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal winning her one-on-one matchup giving the Wildcats a 2-1 lead with six minutes remaining.
This is the first time since 2014, that the Terps suffered back-to-back losses against the Wildcats.
“I’m super proud of the way Maryland played,” head coach Missy Meharg said. “Our tactics were spot on. We played a really good brand of hockey, we played very tough. I just think we have to take the risks and continue growing together and working on our kind of new backfield.”
This game felt more evenly matched than last Sunday’s matchup with momentum and possession alternating between both teams. In the scoreless first quarter, the Terps had the only penalty corner and both teams took two shots. Also in the opening quarter, midfielder/forward Taylor Mason suffered an injury after she was struck in the jaw by the ball.
Fortunately for Maryland, Mason returned in the second quarter. However, Northwestern controlled the second quarter, dictating the pace with seven shots. The Wildcats capitalized in the middle of the second quarter on a goal off a penalty corner from midfielder Ana Medina Garcia.
In the third quarter, the Terps responded with a goal by forward Bibi Donraadt, her first of the season. That goal came immediately after Taylor Mason’s goal was wiped off the board because the shot was taken outside of the shooting circle.
Defender Riley Donnelly remains hot and was credited with the assist. She now has three assists on the season tying her total from the 2018 and 2019 seasons combined.
Goalie Noelle Frost helped keep the Terps in the game with seven saves and made some difficult stops. Overall, the Terps were outshot 17-8, with the Wildcats finishing with a higher shot total in three of out four quarters.
“Noelle is just a great goalie,” Donraadt said. “We can always rely on her saves as well as her coaching and leadership skills. I really trust her being back there.”
Both teams had five penalty corners, but the Terps were unable to turn any of them into goals.
“Our penalty corners are a work in progress and we will continue to work very diligently on them for the detail and then accuracy and ball speed,” Meharg said.
The Terps will be back in action this Friday at 3 p.m. and Sunday at noon in State College for a two-game series against Penn State.