No. 16 Maryland field hockey wins thrilling OT game against No. 6 Penn State

Maryland field hockey
Photo courtesy of UMTerps.com

By Alex Rychwalski

The No. 16 Maryland Terrapins won a thrilling double overtime game 2-1 against No. 6 Penn State on the Terps’ senior night.

In the early stages, much of the game took place in the midfield as neither team could sustain possessions and connect on any meaningful passes. The Terps’ suffocating defense created problems for the Nittany Lions, but communication miscues prevented them from capitalizing early on.

Maryland began to gain control of possession and earned its first two penalty corners midway through the half, but the Nittany Lions defense stood strong and prevented a goal.

The Terps’ best scoring opportunity came 27:30 into the half when Brooke DeBerdine flicked a shot up and over the goalie, but the ball went wide left.

At the half, the score was tied at zero, although the Terps seemed to be in control for much of the game. They outshot the Nittany Lions 10-3 and had one more penalty corner at the intermission.

After both teams traded scoring opportunities, Maryland’s Lein Holsboer scored a goal inside the left post on a rebound following her own shot. The goal was Holsboer’s ninth of the season, and gave the Terps a 1-0 lead at the 40:18 mark.

The Nittany lions responded almost immediately. Two minutes after the Terps’ goal, Penn State tied the score on a goal similar to Holsboer’s. Sarah Holliday stopped the first attempt, but the Nittany Lions’ relentless pressure eventually allowed them to tie the game at one.

Despite the letdown, the Terps didn’t give up on their pressure on either side of the ball, and both teams began to tire due to the physical nature of the game.

Both teams traded possessions and scoring opportunities for the rest of the half. Terrific connections and scoring opportunities by both teams were stifled by incredible defensive and goalie play. After regulation, the game was tied and went to overtime.

According to Maryland forward Carrie Hanks, the Terps’ intensity and respect for their talented opponent allowed them to continue to fight.

“The entire game we knew we couldn’t let up. They’re a great team,” Hanks said. “We reached overtime after we had just played 70 minutes. There was this feeling, ‘We know that we can do this, we can dominate.’”

The first overtime period featured much of the same aggressive and exhausting play that highlighted the final few moments of regulation. Substitutions were frequent and both teams’ players were running on fumes.

At the start of the second overtime, Maryland defender Bodil Keus made a pass that went the length of the field. The pass set up an opportunity for Hanks, who was able to put the winning shot just passed the stick of Penn State’s goalie.

Maryland head coach Missy Meharg attributed the Terps’ composed play in overtime to their experience from losing in overtime to Michigan a few weeks ago.

“Having that opportunity with Michigan was phenomenal,” Meharg said. “Especially when you have three first years and two of them have never played overtime in their lives.”

Holsboer agreed with her coach that the experience from the Michigan game was key in the win.

“We learned so much from that game because we got scored on in literally the last second,” Holsboer said. “We knew what we needed to clean up and not give up that goal again. We had a great defensive structure and I never got scared when they were attacking.”

The victory improves the Terps to 10-5 on the season (5-2 Big Ten), and drops the Nittany Lions to 12-3 (4-2 Big Ten).

The Terps next take the field Tuesday, Oct. 17 on the road against No. 4 Virginia.

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