By: Alex Rychwalski
The No. 11 Maryland Terrapins prevailed in a thrilling 1-0 victory over the No. 9 Louisville Cardinals in their final game of the Terrapin Invitational. The victory was their first over a ranked team this season.
Maryland controlled the tempo early in the game with its aggressive defensive pressure, a tactic that worked wonders in their previous game, a shutout win against Towson.
The pressure is something that Maryland coach Missy Meharg said the Terps have been improving during the early stages of the season.
“It’s great to press that hard and get something out of it,” Meharg said. “We’ve been working really hard athletically, we’re rotating 16 players.”
The Terps had their best scoring opportunity of the early stages when Kyler Greenwalt’s shot went wide-left at the 13:54 mark.
Arguably the best player of the half was Maryland defender Hannah Bond, who was all over the field making key interceptions and keeping the Cardinals out of the Terps’ half.
“Just by the communication of the other players around me,” said Bond. “It lets me move around a bit more to fill in the holes and make those interceptions”.
The rest of the first half was tightly contested with neither team having a clear advantage, although the Terps outshot the Cardinals 11-4.
Maryland started the second half with the same aggressive pressure they displayed at the start of the game. The pressure generated two penalty corners in the first three minutes after halftime, but neither resulted in a shot on goal.
The Cardinals struggled to get the ball out of their half, and the Terps forced a fourth penalty corner at the 11:51 mark in the half. This time the Terps would not be denied, as Bodil Keus scored her third goal of the season on an assist from Madison Maguire. The goal gave the Terps a 1-0 advantage.
The Cardinals countered with a pair of penalty corners, but the Terps defense stood strong. The Terps dodged another bullet with 18 minutes remaining in the game, when a costly turnover in their own defensive zone was saved by Sarah Holliday.
Holliday said that the Terps had watched Louisville’s previous game of the invitational against American, and she took note of the Cardinals’ ability to bounce back.
“Being intense is very important,” Holliday said. “Especially after you score a goal because I knew the second we scored a goal that they were going to come hard at us with the hammer.”
With just four minutes remaining, Louisville connected on a cross in front of the cage and got a free shot on goal, but Sarah Holliday made a great kick save.
The Terps were able to hold on and win a game in which they outshot the Cardinals 19-8.
Maryland takes the field next on the road against Indiana in their first conference game of the season on Friday at 3 p.m.