No. 7 Terps beat another ranked opponent; defeat No. 13 Old Dominion 2-1

By: Max Marcilla

Even though the No. 7 Maryland Terrapins field hockey team had a break in Big Ten action on Tuesday, the Terps were tasked with playing a top-15 team for the fifth consecutive game.

The Terrapins were up for the challenge, beating No. 13 Old Dominion 2-1, advancing to 9-3 on the season and 4-1 in their last five games.

“I was so pleased with Maryland’s maturity,” head coach Missy Meharg said following the victory. “Field hockey, soccer, these are low-scoring games. You just have to stay resilient, stay structured, keep passing the ball around, and hope you knock ‘em in.”

For the first time in three games, it was the Terps who jumped out to an early lead. A rebound from Olivia Reiter gave Maryland a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute, a vital goal for a team that had struggled recently to get off to a good start.

“We’ve been talking about just creating a dominance when we step on the field,” Meharg said. “We’ve had three games prior to this when we started off slow. That was a really big key thing for us. And not even just the scoreboard, but just in terms of dominating the game… we did both.”

“It just gives you that extra confidence,” forward Welma Luus said. “It’s definitely much nicer to get the early score and get up on the scoreboard.”

Later in the first half, Old Dominion’s Danielle Grega tied the game at one, knocking the ball past redshirt junior goalkeeper Sarah Bates.

However, that was the only goal Bates surrendered in her first start in net as a Terrapin.

“I think [Bates is] ready,” Meharg said. “I think she’s had great practices. She came back really ready. We’re really fortunate, as I’ve said, to have two very ready goaltenders we could call upon any day.”

Although Bates only faced three shots on goal, her first start didn’t come without an interesting challenge from the sun. Bates had the trainer tape her mask in an effort to block the sun out of her eyes.

“[The sun] was really brutal,” Bates said. “We tape when we need to, [but] it didn’t really help.”

With the game knotted at one in the second half, Linnea Gonzales and Luus had a stellar on a two-on-one opportunity. Gonzales passed to Luus, who was able to net the eventual game-winning goal.

“They’re all very unselfish and they all really want to win,” Meharg said. “When we practice in training, we do a tremendous amount of what we call ‘first-look passes,’ which means that you’re not allowed to dribble.”

Maryland will look to carry the momentum from a fast start into Friday’s game, when the Terps’ host the Michigan State Spartans.