No. 10 Field Hockey knocks off No. 9 Ohio State in Road Challenge

In the Terps’ last match just two days ago, Pennsylvania native Sammy Popper powered in a goal within the first eight minutes of play.

Today, it took her just four minutes to score.

Hannah Boss intercepted a pass outside the top left of the shooting circle. Instead of forcing a long shot, the sophomore slid a ground pass to Popper, who proceeded to fake left before heading right and shoveling a short shot into the back of the net.

Maryland is now outscoring opponents 14-2 in the first quarter this season, with 11 of the 14 goals scored within the opening six minutes. 

Popper’s goal provided No. 10 Maryland with an early lead that would be crucial as the Terps held strong to secure a huge 2-1 road win over No. 9 Ohio State.

A minute after Popper’s goal, Maryland nearly scored again on their first penalty corner opportunity of the match. 

Junior Hope Rose steadied the ball at the top of the circle before aiming a straight shot that Ohio State keeper Abby Danson just managed to save. Then, in an incredible effort, Boss tracked down the rebound and lined up a second-chance shot, but it was blocked yet again by a Buckeyes’ defender.

The Buckeyes’ first shot finally came in the 14th minute of play, courtesy of graduate student Julie Rodijk. But Maryland’s defense stepped up in a big way, blocking Rodijk’s shot as the buzzer sounded to end the quarter.

Ohio State received four penalty corner opportunities to begin the second period, but couldn’t convert on any as shots from Rodijk, Leanne Bough, Sarah Richards, and Claudia Thomas were all blocked at the net.

“[Assistant] coach Kasey Tapman predominantly watches the attacks of other teams and Scott [Tupper] works on defensive sets,” said head coach Missy Meharg on Friday. “That’s where you win and lose games, and we’re good at picking it apart.”

Though Maryland would be challenged offensively – putting up four close misses throughout the quarter – their defense held strong, deflecting another shot by Thomas as time expired to end the half.

But midway through the third quarter, the Buckeyes answered with the equalizer. 

Ohio State senior Makenna Webster intercepted a Maryland pass, then raced down the field. Found in a two-on-two fast break opportunity, Webster fired a pass to junior Hallie Brost. In one swift motion, Brost dribbled inside the penalty circle, then accelerated to her right and sniped a shot into the bottom left of the goal, just inches past keeper Alyssa Klebasko.

The Terps came alive offensively to begin the fourth quarter. Just 20 seconds into the period, Margot Lawn collected the ball near midfield before escaping a double team and picking apart the Buckeyes’ set defense. Weaving through traffic, Lawn flicked a laser pass to a cutting Maci Bradford. With a burst of momentum, Bradford sidestepped Danson, then knocked a shot into a wide open goal.

The freshman’s fifth goal of the season couldn’t have come at a better time for Maryland, breaking a one-one deadlock and giving the Terps some breathing room heading into the final stretch.

Coming off of a game in which she had a career-high eight saves, Klebasko waited until late in the fourth today to assert her dominance.

With only minutes remaining, Klebasko hustled across the circle, extending a leg out and then diving to make back-to-back saves, effectively icing the match and giving the Terps their fifth consecutive win.

Maryland moves to 12-3 on the season and remains perfect against Ohio State with a 20-0 all-time series record.

The Terps now head back home to College Park to face No. 6 Iowa (10-2) in a primetime battle this Friday at 5:00 p.m.