By: Alex Rychwalski
It was an impressive afternoon for the No. 11 Maryland Terrapins field hockey team, which rebounded with a dominant 8-0 victory over Towson in the first game of the Terrapin Invitational. The Terps also broke their single-game shot record by tallying 58 shots during the game, a record that had stood since 2000.
For the first time this season, the Terrapins scored a first half goal. Junior Linnea Gonzales netted her first goal of the season on assists by Hannah Bond and Melissa Wilken.
Maryland continued its offensive domination when Julie Duncan broke through for the Terps with her first goal of the season with 12:16 left in the half. The goal gave the Terps a 2-0 advantage.
The Maryland defense dominated throughout the half as the Tigers failed to record a single shot, but the Terps only had 2 goals to show for it. The Terps did, however, outshoot the Tigers 26-0 during the opening half.
Towson goalie Emilee Woodall kept the Tigers in the game early on with 15 saves in the first half, but the Terps would not be denied in the second half.
Duncan said head coach Missy Meharg gave a different kind of halftime speech to help motivate the Terps.
“This time was a little bit different from her,” Duncan said. “She gave us three points and then left the locker room, so that was different in making us talk to each other and see what to do was a different kind of pump-up.”
The halftime adjustments were apparent from the start, as Linnea Gonzales scored her second goal of the game on an assist by Emily Thomas.
Just two minutes later, Julie Duncan joined the two-goal club with a goal. She tipped a loose ball high and into the back of the cage. Just a minute later, Lein Holsboer got in on the action with her first goal of the season to put the Terps up 5-0.
Gonzalez attributed the second half barrage to improved communication as the difference to be able to finally capitalize on their opportunities.
“We needed to keep communicating with the team and connecting with everyone,” Gonzalez said. “I think energy is contagious and we brought that the second half”
The Terps were nearly unstoppable in the second half. Brooke Adler scored on an assist by Lein Holsboer and just a minute later Carrie Hanks scored her first goal of the season on assists by Olivia Reiter and Marissa Cutry.
The final goal for the Terps came on a goal from Lizzy Dessoye, the first of her career, which gave the Terps an 8-0 advantage.
Maryland coach Missy Meharg attributed the second half outburst to some key adjustments the Terps made after halftime.
“We had too many people behind the ball, we needed to get players in layers and get more people on the baseline,” Meharg said, “then rotate our wingers inside the p-spot to open up the holes of the corners.”
The win improves the Terps record to 2-2 on the season, and drops the Tigers to 0-5 on the season. The win is also Maryland’s 27th straight in its head-to-head matchup with the Tigers.
The Terps take the field on Sunday against No. 9 Louisville at 11:30 a.m. in their final game of the Terrapin Invitational.