No. 8 Penn State snaps No. 7 Maryland field hockey’s three game win streak in overtime

Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

Three minutes into overtime Nittany Lions midfielder Sophia Gladieux sent the ball into the right corner for the game winning goal and her second of the game. Gladieux’s goal kept Penn State’s bid for a perfect season alive. 

Despite outshooting and earning more penalty corners than the Nittany Lions, No. 7 Maryland field hockey (4-2, B1G 0-1) fell 3-2 in overtime to No. 8 Penn State (6-0, B1G 1-0) in their Big Ten opener.

“The outcome is very disappointing for our group,” head coach Missy Meharg said.

The crowd and benches were very energetic with both cheering on their respective teams making the atmosphere feel intense and like a championship game. 

After back and forth ball control during the first seven minutes of action, the Terps earned the match’s first penalty corner of the game. The Terps made their opportunity count. Forward Bibi Donraadt inserted the ball perfectly to defender Maura Verleg who placed it for midfielder Julianna Tornetta who sent a rocket past Nittany Lions goalie Brie Barraco to give the Terps a 1-0 lead. 

About five minutes later,Nittany Lions midfielder Mackenzie Allessie received the ball at the top of the circle on the right side and sent her own rocket to the right of Frost to tie the game at 1-1. 

The Terps earned two more penalty corners late in the first quarter, but Barraco saved both. The Terps had an opportunity on their third penalty corner when the rebound came back to the Terps, but Donraadt’s shot was blocked. 

Maryland’s penalty corner defense was also outstanding and prevented the Nittany Lions from scoring on any of their six attempts. Terps goalie Noelle Frost made a few diving saves and finished the game with six saves.

Frost’s counterpart also was fantastic racking up seven saves of her own. 

With a little more than two minutes until halftime, Nittany Lions Gladieux drove the ball up the left side of the pitch on a one-on-one opportunity and shot the ball into the goal to give Penn State a 2-1. 

“I think it was pretty evident that we need to figure out how to stop [Gladieux’s] shot,” Meharg said. 

The Terps 2-1 deficit was the first time the Terps have trailed since their match against Boston College two weeks ago.

Penn State looked to have scored their third goal of the game when defender Anna Simon shot the ball over a diving Frost, but Riley Donnelly tipped the ball out of the net. 

Seconds into the fourth quarter, the Terps earned another penalty corner. Donnelly hit the ball towards the net and defender Nathalie Fiechter, who deflected the ball into the goal to tie the game up at 2-2. 

The other players mobbed Fiechter after her goal to celebrate her first collegiate goal. 

“It was a great moment,” Fiechter said. “We practice a lot of penalty corners and it’s great when everything comes together.” 

A few minutes later Penn State looked to have broken the tie off a failed penalty corner. Frost crept out of the goal to block a shot, but the Nittany Lions maneuvered around her and midfielder Belle Bressler made a critical defensive save to send the game into overtime.  

The Terps had an opportunity with less than two minutes left in the game, forward Anna Castaldo sent a high shot that the Nittany Lions deflected the ball downwards and out of the circle. 

The game went into overtime with Gladieux playing hero for Penn State when her seventh goal of the season snapped Maryland’s three game winning streak.

The Terps remain at home in College Park and will face Tornetta’s former team in No. 18 Princeton on Tuesday at 4 pm.