Grad student defender Riley Donnelly made her debut in the starting lineup today and made immediate impact.
Donnelly played 48 minutes, the most for her this season as she works her way back from some knee and hip issues that plagued her last season.
Midway through the third quarter, Donnelly drove the ball into the circle and fired a shot, near the top of the shooting circle, her first of the season. That shot found the net and put Maryland up 5-0.
“I’m definitely feeling stronger each game which is really exciting,” Donnelly said. “It’s been hard to be patient, but I think being patient has paid off.”
No. 3 Maryland field hockey (9-1, B1G 3-0) scored two more times, cruising to a 7-2 victory against Michigan State (4-4, B1G 0-3), remaining undefeated in conference play.
Donnelly also added an assist to start the scoring two minutes into the game.
Donnelly drove into the circle, finding midfielder Sophie Klautz in front of the net. Klautz tapped the ball in, marking her first goal since the season opener.
Forward Hope Rose and midfielder Bibi Donraadt each scored over the next eight minutes to put Maryland up 3-0.
“We just strung three passes together, and then we were behind their defense, and we kept doing that over and over and over,” head coach Missy Meharg said.
Michigan State threatened some, earning a penalty corner in the first, but after the Spartans passed the ball inside,defender Maura Verleg cleared the ball out harm’s way.
The Spartans had some breakaway opportunities, but sophomore goalie Paige Kieft blocked the shots and recorded three saves in her fifth straight start.
Maryland had more opportunities to score, earning two penalty corners early in the second quarter, but Spartans goalie Monique Jardell saved all four of the Terps shots in a span of 20 seconds.
Jardell recorded eight saves in the first half, finishing the game with 12, a new career high.
Rose scored again late in the fourth quarter using a backhand move for her tenth goal, while playing with a bunch of reserves.
Role players Logan Anderson, Carly Hynd, Sam Zywna and Maddie Gaughan all played some minutes, giving Maryland’s starters more recovery time before a big weekend road trip to Iowa and Northwestern, two current top five teams.
“They’re the ones out there putting the physio, putting in the work and putting in the extra,” Rose said. “It’s really great to see them out there and being able to play for Maryland.”
The Spartans ended the Terps’ second straight shutout bid late, scoring two goals off penalty corners, but the Terps’ scoring outburst was enough to win their ninth game of the season.
“All these games where you have been so dominant in some matches and taking shots that it could be nothing more than a trap game unless you really put the metal down,” Meharg said. “I thought we did a very good job with that.”