As the Terps reach the latter half of the season, their opponents are seeming to get more formidable. Against the No. 3 UConn Huskies; the Terps looked to improve their ranking while the Huskies were making their case to solidify their claim in the top 3. But the Terps were the ones to move closer to the top, shutting out their visitors 2-0.
The Huskies refused to back down and got off three quick shots in four minutes while Maryland only had a singular shot by Emma DeBerdine — who seemed to be the fuel for a particularly uninspired offense in the first quarter.
“We’re working hard with her goal shots … she’s gonna get shots, she’s gonna get more shots,” said Coach Missy Meharg
The two powerhouses both had a response for every attack but nothing reached the back of the cage.
The start of the second quarter saw Maryland continue to dominate with their world class backline, keeping the Huskies determined attack from putting points on the board. The strong UConn attack looked pedestrian and awkward in this top five matchup. Soon after the start of the quarter, the leading scorer, Linda Cobano put the first Maryland points on the board.
“I’m glad if I can help the team if it’s with scoring or making good passes or defending, it’s all just as important as scoring,” said Cobano.
While the Terps had fewer shots, they took advantage of each possession generating more meaningful shots on goal. The Huskies continuously sent suffocating pressure while Maryland remained unfazed and scored again with a goal by Madison Maguire. The second quarter saw Maryland as the better team and UConn found themselves frantically trying to put together attacks that had undesirable results.
“We wanna attack and go forward as much as possible but also know we are two goals up and make smart passes,” said Donnelly.
After an impressive first half, Maryland still managed to find a way to improve and prevent a single shot from the Huskie attack in the third quarter. With time running out the Huskies struggled to put themselves back into the game.
Despite having a comfortable two point lead the Terps refused to stop attacking and continued to pepper the cage with promising shots. The Huskies, however, were awarded two great set piece opportunities with a penalty shot and a penalty corner, both putting nothing on the board. The penalty shot saw an outstretched Noelle Frost blocking the shot with one hand in the bottom left corner of the cage. The Huskies spent the remaining minutes of the quarter bringing an all-out attack unable to string anything together and Maryland was able to defend their home turf with an easy two score victory.
“Playing teams like these really ups our level of play… but I’m sure we’ll see them again,” stated Donnelly.