No. 12 Maryland field hockey’s offensive outburst drives 4-2 takedown of No. 6 Rutgers, snapping three-game losing streak

(Courtesy of Maryland Athletics)

Right at the first half buzzer forward/midfielder Anna Castaldo drove the ball into a Rutgers defender giving Maryland (7-6, 5-3 B1G) another penalty corner. 

Defender Riley Donnelly’s shot wound up hitting a Rutgers defender that was behind the goalie giving the Terps a penalty stroke. Donnelly buried the stroke, giving the Terps a 2-1 lead entering the half, with a surge of momentum. 

It was the first time the Terps led at all since their 1-0 shutout of then-No. 2 Iowa on April 2. The Terps continued to score in route to a 4-2 win against No. 6 Rutgers (9-4, 5-3 B1G).

“I could not be more proud of the women,” head coach Missy Meharg said. “They followed the game plan the way we started with such dominance and playing the ball and doing the work. So proud of the women playing so strong and connected.”

Maryland opened the game up by keeping the ball on Rutgers side of the field for the first three minutes of play. However, the Scarlet Knights quickly drove the ball up the field to earn back-to-back penalty corners with 11 minutes left in the first quarter. Rutgers’ midfielder Katie Larmour scored off their second penalty corner to give the Scarlet Knights an early 1-0 lead. 

The Terps responded with a dominant second quarter holding the Scarlet Knights without a shot and without a penalty corner, while racking up three shots and three penalty quarters. 

Midfielder Emma DeBerdine’s first goal of the contest tied the game, one of the team’s leading scorers from last season with seven goals and five assists. Before tonight’s game Emma DeBerdine only had one goal, but found the back of the net twice off of a rebound and then a loose ball after the initial penalty corner shot respectively. 

“This year has been a different year moving more to the midfield position and a little bit of forward to, so it has definitely been exciting,” Emma DeBerdine said. “Getting goals is fun.” 

Defender Maura Verleg picked up her third goal of the season off a routine penalty corner. Defender Nathalie Fiechter and forward Bibi Donraadt were credited with the assist. 

Overall, the Terps drew nine penalty corners and converted three of them into goals. 

“Penalty corners are one of those things if you just keep working and keep vigilant then they were going to fall [into the net],” Meharg said. “We have been doing them in practice a lot with the full squad so all the women know where the rebounds are, so I’m not surprised because penalty corners come from execution of training.”

Midfielder Brooke DeBerdine remained out with an injury, but was on the sidelines. Despite not playing Brooke DeBerdine was still supportive of her sister during tonight’s game.

“There has never been a rivalry when we are playing in a game. At practice all the time,” Emma DeBerdine said. “In a game there is just love and support. Right when I came off the field she was the first one to high five me. It was really sad that she wasn’t able to be out there today, but I know she will get back soon.”

Goalie Noelle Frost also continued her strong play of late with seven saves. The Scarlet Knights played an aggressive fourth quarter taking seven shots and drawing four penalty corners. 

Midfielder Milena Redlingshoefer added a goal in garbage time for the Scarlet Knights off a penalty corner, however, Maryland’s three-goal lead was too much for Rutgers to come back from down the stretch. 

The Terps close out the regular season with the final game of a two game series with Rutgers on Saturday at noon.