Maryland field hockey forward Linnea Gonzales had just one shot in the first 60 minutes of action against California, but on a breakaway late in the second half, the senior finished past Golden Bears goalkeeper Danielle Mentink for her second goal in under a minute, polishing off the Terps’ second straight victory.
Gonzales’ two late scores helped secure No. 4 Maryland’s 5-0 win for its second shutout of the year, and give the Terps a comfortable win after entering halftime with just a one-goal lead.
“We just brought the intensity during the second half,” Gonzales said. “We really stepped it up on our press and that energy was contagious. So everyone [fed] off of that and it just happened to go in.”
Cal was coming off a 5-1 win over Providence, but the Terps shut down the Golden Bears’ offense Sunday. Maryland goalkeeper Noelle Frost saw just two shots on goal and saved both.
Coach Missy Meharg said the team emphasized defending California forward Megan Rodgers going into the matchup. Rodgers got two shots off in the first half, so during the break Meharg told her team to double down on her for the rest of the matchup. Meharg credited the shutout to her team’s second-half adjustments.
And while the Terps’ defense was stifling the Golden Bears’ attack, Maryland’s offense took control. Forward Sabrina Rhodes was a driving force for the Terps, having a hand in the team’s first three goals.
The senior put the ball in play on the team’s penalty corners, and the Terps scored three of the six corners taken by Rhodes.
“That shows how hard she’s been working all season,” Gonzales said. “It’s really good to see her coming in strong this season. … She’s grown a lot and it’s showing.”
Defender Nike Lorenz also continued to shine early in her college career. After having all three goals for the Terps in their first game of the season, Lorenz — a junior from Germany in her first year of NCAA field hockey — put the Terps ahead midway through the first half on a penalty corner.
She scored again in the second half, converting her fifth goal of the season.
Lorenz gave the team the edge that Gonzales added to late. She earned the first on a scrum near the right post of the net, while her second came less than a minute later on an unassisted breakaway.
Defender Sophie Giezeman gave Maryland its other goal off of a deflection on a penalty corner a little over three minutes into the second half.
“We are so lucky,” Meharg said, “because we’ve got three very potent attack penalty corner options.”