By Victoria Ebner
Michigan (21-3) had not let in a single goal during the team’s’ entire postseason, until today.
After a decisive 5-1 win today against the Wolverines, the Maryland Terrapins Field Hockey team (16-6) has punched their ticket to the NCAA championship game for the first time since 2013.
There’s only one word to describe Maryland’s play: relentless. Bursting with speed and tenacity, the Terps completely dominated possession throughout the entire first half.
Four minutes in, the Terps sank their first goal when a pass from sophomore defender Kelee LePage was
tipped around the Michigan goalie by sophomore defender Madison MaGuire.
But the Terps didn’t stop there. When a signature penalty corner sweep from sophomore defender Bodil Keus sailed past the goalie, it seemed that not even Michigan’s nationally ranked defense could slow Maryland down.
“I think [Michigan] may have underestimated us a little bit,” sophomore defender Bodil Keus claims. “From our last game [against Michigan (3-2 2OT loss)], we had a bit of anger. So this time, so we used that in this game. We began sharp and played the game out.”
Michigan proved no threat for the rest of the first half. Up 2-0, Maryland earned four shots to Michigan’s one, with all five shots taken on goal.
The Terps continued to suffocate the Wolverines in the second half. MaGuire, still hot off her goal in the first half, tipped another in off of a pass from junior forward Linnea Gonzales to push the lead to 3-0.
With just 30 minutes left to play, the Wolverines began to attack at a rapid pace knowing they would need scores in order to complete a comeback. They quickly tried their hand with two penalty corners, the first blocked and the other knocked away by goalkeeper Sarah Holliday before finally scoring what would be the team’s only score of the day.
The victory was short lived, as Gonzales answered back four minutes later, tapping in a loose ball to give Maryland a 4-1 lead.
In full attack mode, Michigan abandoned their net, but it made no difference. Following a missed shot from MaGuire, Maryland earned their second corner. Yet again, Keus did her thing, shooting another direct shot into the cage.
Understandably, head coach Missy Meharg couldn’t be happier, attributing the win to the Terps’ intensive practices.
“We work really hard every day at practice to play a really high paced, pressing style,” Meharg said.
The count for today was nine shots and two corners for Maryland, with five shots and three corners for Michigan. Maryland will face the University of Connecticut on Sunday as the Terps look to end the season as National Champions.