With 19.8 seconds left in the third quarter, midfielder Lora Clarke sent the ball from the right side of the shooting circle to the far post.
That goal gave the Wolverines a 2-1 lead and ended up being the game winner in a tight contest in College Park. With their win today, No. 5 Michigan (8-2, 6-0, B1G) won the Big Ten Regular Season outright while Maryland (6-5, 4-3 B1G) couldn’t unseed the Wolverines.
“What a game,” head coach Missy Meharg said. “Always a great matchup and great athletes. We are obviously disappointed in the outcome of the match, but the product could not have been more resilient and committed. The team followed the game plan to a t and got a beautiful goal off a fall away press.”
The loss could have been much more lopsided for the Terps. In the first and second quarter the Wolverines looked to have scored on both their penalty corners, but both goals were waived off. The first was waived off because of a third party foul that occurred before the shot, while the other was waived off because the shot was ruled a reverse chip.
Maryland took advantage as it tied the game early in the third quarter after midfielder/forward Taylor Mason tapped the ball in on a feed from forward Mayv Clune.
Forward Bibi Donraadt almost gave the Terps the lead with 1:06 left in the third quarter but the Wolverines’ goalie Anna Speiker blocked the ball with her legs. Donraadt had another opportunity to tie the game but the shot hit the post.
The Terps threatened for the final three minutes of the game after Meharg pulled goalie Noelle Frost for the second straight game. With 40 seconds left in the game, Maryland earned its second penalty corner but the initial shot was blocked and forward/midfielder Anna Castaldo’s rebound shot went wide. That ended Maryland’s comeback hopes.
Frost also had a terrific day in goal with four saves active both in and out of the net. Two of those impressive saves came with her glove and another came as she ran out of the goal and dove to stop a shot in the penalty circle.
“Noelle is bringing so much seniority and high save ability to our squad,” Meharg said. “Today, I think both goals were deflections and those are the hardest, so she stopped every straight point shot that was at her.”
For the first time this season students and fans were allowed into the Field Hockey and Women’s Lacrosse Complex, which increased its capacity to 50%. Despite the loss, Maryland was happy to have fans back in the stands.
“I think it is really exciting because this program is a very family oriented program,” Mason said. “So to be able to have our family and friends and support systems join us, it really adds to the hype before and during the game. I play a lot on the sideline over there, so I hear people I know cheering me on right there.”
The teams will play each other again tomorrow at noon.