When Maryland field hockey called a timeout in the 62nd minute of its Big Ten tournament quarterfinal game against Michigan State, coach Missy Meharg’s voice was overshadowed by the screaming coming from the Spartans huddle.
Michigan State assistant coach Tamara Durante aggressively demanded a better effort out of their team, with the Terps’ fully in control and up by five goals. But following the break, Maryland scored yet another goal to cap off a 6-0 victory over Michigan State and advance to next weekend’s semifinals in Evanston, Illinois.
They will face either No. 4-seed Ohio State or No. 5-seed Rutgers.
“This was a pure dominance of a game,” Meharg said. “We played as one. Every layer was supporting each other.”
Maryland’s offense looked out of sync in its last few matchups, averaging 10.3 shots and not scoring more than two goals in any of its past three games, including a 3-1 loss to Virginia last week. But the Terps rediscovered their firepower Sunday against the No. 9-seed Spartans, tallying 20 shots before halftime.
No. 1-seed Maryland had the upper hand from the opening minutes and never looked back. In the fourth minute, midfielder Madison Maguire passed the ball by a defender’s legs to forward Linnea Gonzales, who hammered a shot from just inside the circle for the first goal of the matchup.
“Definitely very exciting to come back after the loss from last week,” Gonzales said. “We really connected well today and took our shots and finished.”
The Terps continued to fight hard and kept the majority of possession while firing shot after shot at Spartans goalkeeper Jade Arundell. In the 13th minute, Arundell fell to the ground and was unable to stop defender Bodil Keus’ hard shot past her on a penalty corner.
Less than a minute later, forward Mayv Clune forced a turnover in the center of the field and carried the ball toward goal, where she passed to forward Bibi Donraadt. Donraadt’s shot was saved by Arundell, but Clune immediately collected the rebound and scored with ease to give Maryland a three-goal lead less than 14 minutes into the contest.
“The greatest part of Mayv’s game is goalscoring,” Meharg said. “Her hands are so quick under pressure, her decision-making and her instincts are world class. … I’m not surprised, and the more minutes she gets, the more she’s going to find herself in those positions.”
Maryland’s dominant performance continued in the second half, when the team notched three more goals to tie its season-high in scoring. Six different Terps scored in the victory, with the other goals coming from forward Lizzy Dessoye, defender Nike Lorenz and Donraadt.
The Spartans only managed two shots in the entire 70 minutes, while Maryland ended with a season-high 30 shots.
“The big games are coming up, so the energy is going up a little bit and everyone’s a little bit more on fire,” Lorenz said. “[It’s] just a great part of the season”