After over 16 minutes of play, the contest between Maryland field hockey and Pacific remained scoreless.
The No. 4 Terps, according to Preseason National Coaches Poll, needed a spark in their first game of the season, and one of its newest members stepped up.
Defender Nike Lorenz notched a goal on a pass from forward Madison Maguire on a penalty corner opportunity.
A little over two minutes later, Lorenz found the back of the net again off assists from Maguire and midfielder Kelee Lepage. The goal, which also came off of a penalty corner, was reviewed for several minutes, but Maryland’s 2-0 lead stood.
Lorenz scored again seven minutes later, assisted by forward Mayv Clune, giving herself a hat trick before the end of the first half and the Terps a 3-0 lead.
“She’s one of the best drag flickers in the world,” coach Missy Meharg said. “It’s super for all the players around her, certainly the whole momentum…It was definitely a plug in our field that we needed some experience in and Maryland was just super fortunate that we were her selection on where to study.”
The junior was a late addition to coach Missy Meharg’s squad this year. She previously played for the German National Team, with whom she won a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics. Lorenz also led her club team to seven German Championships and was named the Best Young Player at the World League Semifinals in 2017.
And Lorenz is meshing with the team nicely. She said hearing her teammates’ cheering for her from the sidelines and getting their positive feedback has helped her transition.
“She’s phenomenal,” Maguire said. “Her coming in and all her knowledge and background of hockey is going to help us so much. Yeah, she’s a newcomer, but I think she’s going to step up and become one of our main players.”
Despite having 25 shots, Maryland didn’t score again, riding Lorenz’s contributions to victory. Pacific’s Marlise Van Tonder had 10 saves.
The Terp defense held the Tigers to just two shots throughout the game.
With its first win of the season under its belt, Maryland continues on its West Coast road trip with a game against California on Sunday at 3pm.
And Meharg said she can already see her team improving.
“In the 70 minutes we grew and grew and grew, and we finished playing the best hockey tonight,” Meharg said. “And that’s all you can hope for for your opener.”