By Alex Rychwalski
In an important game for Big Tournament seeding, the No. 12 Maryland Terrapins dominated the No. 21 Rutgers 6-0 on the Scarlet Knights’ senior day.
Coming into the game, the Terps had won five straight contests, three of which were against ranked opponents. The improved play for the Terps can be attributed to better starts, which was a problem during their 6-5 start to the season.
Right on cue, the Terps took an early advantage when Melissa Wilken scored off a rebound inside the left post. The Terps are now an impressive 10-0 when they score first.
The Terps’ signature defensive pressure was too much for Rutgers in the first half. The Scarlet Knights were pinned in their half of the field and appeared frustrated by the Terps’ aggression.
24:38 into the half, Brooke DeBerdine made an impressive run, flying by defenders and crashing into the circle. She tried to hit Sabrina Rhodes on the far post, but the pass tricked to Melissa Wilken who drilled her second goal of the game.
Rutgers began to regain their footing and earned their fourth penalty corner of the half, but the Terps were just too good. Madison Maguire made a great defensive play and then sprinted the length of the field to put a feed from Kyler Greenwalt in the back of the net.
The goal gave the Terps a 3-0 advantage at halftime.
After the half, Linnea Gonzales made a terrific pass to Melissa Wilken, and she buried it inside the right post to complete her hat trick.
Coming into the game, no Terp had been able to score a hat trick. Wilken also only had two goals prior to the game, so she was able to more than double her season total in the final 70 minutes of the regular season.
Despite the large advantage, the Terps didn’t let their foot off the gas. Madison Maguire scored her second goal when Brooke Adler made a perfect pass, and Maguire scored on an open net.
Just seconds later, Maguire got her hat trick. Rutgers couldn’t clear the ball and made a costly turnover. Maguire then easily put the ball past Rutgers’ goalie, and doubled her season total with six goals on the season. The goal gave the Terps a 6-0 lead.
The win improves the Terps to 12-5 on the season and 6-2 in the Big Ten. The victory is also the Terps’ 13th straight against Rutgers and secured the fourth seed in the Big Ten Tournament.
Their next game will be Sunday at home in the quarterfinal round of the Big Ten Tournament in a rematch against Rutgers.