No. 9 Field Hockey Squeaks Past American, 2-1

Photo by Chris Lyons/ Maryland Athletics

Just over two minutes into the first quarter, graduate student Ashlyn Carr dribbled into the top of the shooting circle before accelerating hard to her right and aiming a straight shot near the goal. Then, in an incredible effort, junior Hope Rose got a quick stick on the ball, deflecting it into the back of the net.

The Pennsylvania native’s 12th goal of the season would prove instrumental in No. 9 Maryland’s final non-conference game, as the Terps squeaked by to pull out a dramatic 2-1 road win in Washington, D.C. over unranked American University.

Rose’s early goal wouldn’t hold for long, as the Eagles answered with the equalizer just minutes later off the stick of junior Federica Turina Dellamaggiore. The midfielder sped into the circle, hoping to take advantage of a rushed breakaway attack. In one swift motion, Dellamaggiore spun to her offside and knocked in a tough backhand shot past keeper Alyssa Klebasko and into the top right of the goal to end the first quarter, evening it up at one apiece.

Head coach Missy Meharg alternated matches in goal between Klebasko and Paige Kieft for the entirety of the first 11 games this season. But after two huge performances in which she combined for 10 saves, Meharg chose to ride the hot hand and start Klebasko again today, marking the freshman’s third consecutive start.

After just missing on Dellamaggiore’s goal, Klebasko recovered tremendously to begin the second quarter. The keeper collected three quick saves off blocked Eagles’ shots – one from Dellamaggiore, the other two from sophomore Agustina Roffo and freshman Sophie Willemse, respectively.

Maryland had three more penalty corner opportunities in the period – and would finish with a season-high 11 on the day – but couldn’t convert on any, and the Terps and Eagles remained gridlocked going into the half.

Both teams traded shots for the first half of the third quarter, but in the 42nd minute, the Terps finally broke through off of a wild penalty corner sequence.

Forward Margot Lawn inserted on the left end line, setting up freshman Josie Hollamon, who proceeded to fake a shot, instead shoveling the ball to graduate student Sammy Popper. Immediately after receiving the pass, Popper grounded a shot that bounced off the stick of an Eagles’ defender, arcing the ball high into the air before zooming back down into the net.

Popper’s fourth goal of the season couldn’t have come at a better time for the Terps, as it gave the away team some breathing room heading into a critical fourth quarter of play.

The remainder of the final quarter was a track race for both teams, as the Eagles were silenced defensively – the home team wouldn’t get a single shot off in the last eight minutes – and forced to chase the Terps’ dynamic offense up and down the field as time expired.

Maryland’s 19th consecutive series victory against the Eagles gives the Terps double-digit wins on the season, moving their overall record to 10-3.

Maryland has five Big Ten conference matchups left to go, starting with a clash on the road this Friday against the No. 15 Michigan Wolverines (6-5).