No. 5 Field Hockey’s prominent Defense sends Terps to convincing win over No. 6 Virginia

Photo by Mackenzie Miles/Maryland Terrapins

By Ben Geffner

In the 18th minute of play, sophomore Hannah Boss attempted a ground shot that was just deflected by the opposing keeper. Then, in an effort to anticipate the rebound, Maryland native Margot Lawn collected it and proceeded to snipe a shot in, serving as an early second-chance goal for the Terps.

Before today, Maryland had allowed only one first-quarter goal through all eight of their games. This defensive trend continued in No. 5 Maryland’s convincing 2-1 road win over No. 6 Virginia.

It was a scoreless first quarter for both teams, with Maryland attempting four shots on goal to Virginia’s one. Three shots by graduate student Sammy Popper got blocked at the net, while freshman Maci Bradford couldn’t convert on a penalty corner shot that Virginia keeper Tyler Kennedy turned away. The Cavaliers’ first shot came at the end of the first from graduate student Adele Iacobucci, who missed wide before the buzzer sounded.

The second quarter proved a defensive masterclass for freshman keeper Alyssa Klebasko. Prior to Lawn’s goal, Klebasko recorded three saves in three consecutive minutes. Then, in the next 10 minutes of the quarter, the Maryland native recorded two more impressive saves, bringing her total to five on the day.

“She’s a winner,” head coach Missy Meharg said. “She’s going to make big saves… I couldn’t be more pleased for her with her performance [in today’s match].”

Then, with just over 35 seconds before the half, graduate student Ashlyn Carr passed through traffic to Boss, who sliced the ball past two stunned Virginia defenders for the score.

“Hannah typically finishes on that backhand shot… it’s a specialty of hers,” said Meharg. “It’s hard to play defense on her with that shot. We’re only going to see more and more action from Hannah Boss.”

It was the second goal of the season for the native the Netherlands native, and the Terps entered halftime with a comfortable, two-nothing lead.

The third quarter mirrored the opening 15 minutes, as the Terps and Cavaliers each took two shots on goal that narrowly missed. One shot by Virginia graduate student Laura Janssen was saved once again by Klebasko, who continued to hold strong in defending the net for Maryland to keep the Cavaliers scoreless. A shovel shot in the 44th minute from junior Hope Rose went high to end the quarter, leaving the Terps up double digits entering the final 15 minutes of play.

Maryland continued to stay on attack offensively and defensively in the first 14 minutes of the fourth quarter, pushing the ball down the field on fast breaks and swarming Virginia on defense, allowing the Cavaliers only two shots on goal – one of which was immediately rejected by Klebasko, while the other was blocked by defender Maura Verleg off of a Cavaliers’ penalty corner shot.

Then, with 22 seconds remaining in the game, a penalty stroke was called against the Terps, resulting in a one-on-one opportunity at the net for the Cavaliers. Head coach Missy Meharg inserted keeper Paige Kieft in for the play, but Virginia junior Noa Boterman was able to cash into the top left of the goal. The ball sailed past Kieft’s outstretched hand and into the back of the net, finally putting the home team on the board. 

However, it was too little too late for the Cavaliers, and Maryland survived by one, giving the Terps their first win against a nationally ranked top-10 opponent this season and moving them to an impressive 7-2 overall record. 

Heading into the second half of the regular season, Maryland’s final eight of nine games are against high-quality conference teams. The Terps are off for 10 days before heading to Bauer Track and Field Complex in Piscataway, New Jersey, where they’ll take on No. 10 Rutgers in a Big Ten matchup.