By Alex Rychwalski
The No. 9 Maryland Terrapins put together a 2-0 defensive masterpiece against No. 12 Wake Forest in their first NCAA Tournament game. The Terps limited Wake Forest to just three shots in the matchup played at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium in Durham, North Carolina.
Maryland came into the game fresh off of a narrow loss to Penn State in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals, but it had reason for optimism. The Terps 2017 tournament appearance is their 23rd in a row, and hey held an all-time record of 57-21 (.731) in NCAA Tournament games coming into the game, the highest winning percentage in the nation.
From the start, Maryland’s winning mentality was evident.
Just two minutes into the game, the Terps had two great opportunities to get on top, but the Demon Deacons’ goalie came up big with two saves.
After 22 minutes of Terps’ scoring opportunities, Linnea Gonzales got a ball to her left in the middle of the circle, and put a backhand strike in the top corner of the goal to give the Terps a 1-0 lead. The goal was her eighth of the season.
The Terps dodged a bullet with just five minutes left in the first half. Wake Forest put a shot past Maryland goalie Sarah Holliday, but the shot hit the post and the Terps were able to clear it to preserve their one goal advantage.
Maryland outshot Wake Forest 9-2 in the one-sided first half.
Neither team really had an advantage early in the second half, as both teams struggled to make connections near goal, but the Terp would quickly change that.
After a turnover in the Demon Deacons’ zone and a quick restart for the Terps after a foul, Sabrina Rhodes sent a beautiful ball to the far side of the post and Madison Maguire tapped it in for the Terps’ final goal. The goal was Maguire’s seventh on the season.
The Terps’ next tournament matchup is a rematch against No. 2 Duke, who the Terps must beat on the Blue Devils’ home field in order to make the final four. The Terps fell to the Blue Devils 2-0 in their lone meeting this year.