After only scoring one goal in their first three matches Penn State (2-2, B1G) came out firing handing Maryland (2-3, B1G) a 3-0 loss, its worst loss of the season.
The Terps dropped to 2-3 for the first time since 2015.
“We did not play well,” head coach Missy Meharg said. “We played a good team that played very systematically as one. I applaud them.”
Penn State took the lead five minutes into the game with a perfectly executed goal off a penalty corner by defender Anna Simon and never looked back.
Although the Terps took nine shots and had four penalty corners they were unable to convert. Forward Bibi Donraadt and midfield/forward Taylor Mason led the team with two shots each but they were either blocked by Penn State goalie Brie Barraco or sailed wide.
“The connection just wasn’t there between the lines today,” midfielder Brooke DeBerdine said. “We didn’t come out with a good mentality and [when we do] we have to sustain it for 60 minutes.”
The score remained 1-0 till the end of the third quarter when midfielder Sophia Gladieux scored and just three minutes later midfielder Emma Spisak scored on a breakaway which brought the deficit to three.
Barraco was outstanding for the Nittany Lions and had seven saves.
“I think we all know Brie from a couple of different USA stuff and she is a very good goalkeeper, she is very quick with her reflexes,” Brooke DeBerdine said.
The Nittany Lions dominated the Terps outshooting them 13-9 including 10 shots on goal compared to the Terps seven. The Terps drew several penalty corners in their first four games, but against the Nittany Lions didn’t get their first penalty corner until there was three seconds left in the first corner.
On that penalty corner, defender Riley Donnelly’s shot was blocked by Barraco. For Maryland, despite surrendering three goals goalie Noelle Frost had six saves.
In recent games, the Terps have slowed down their pace on getting penalty corners and have not been able to convert when awarded those opportunities.
“The game is about invasion,” Meharg said. “We are a culture that likes to intercept. Today we didn’t intercept in the back or in the midfield, so our numbers weren’t up and when you have numbers up going into the front zone then you are going to have more chances to get penalty corners.”
The Terps also made some changes with their backline. Midfielder Belle Bressler played more minutes in this game after returning from an injury she suffered in the preseason. Bressler was the center defender in today’s game which allowed defender Maura Verleg, Brooke and Emma DeBerdine to each move up a spot.
With a rematch against the Nittany Lions on Sunday the Terps will rewatch the film on Saturday and look to make adjustments before Sunday’s game at noon.
“We can play better and we will,” Meharg said.