Ohio State fired off countless shots against Maryland field hockey throughout Friday afternoon’s match. The Buckeyes constantly found the ball on their side, pressuring Terps’ goalkeeper Noelle Frost.
But not a single one would cross the line. And as the sun set and cast shadows over the Virginia Beach Sportsplex, Maryland — powered by goals in the first and final minutes in the match — pulled off a stout shutout of Ohio State, 2-0.
“I think our corner defense was outstanding,” coach Missy Meharg said. “I think our deep defense played well. I think our counter defense in the midfield is a bit sloppy, and that’s something we’re going to definitely need to have more discipline and more urgency … in and around the circle edge.”
With the win, the Terps continued their unbeaten streak against the Buckeyes. And they did so with relatively minimal offense, as stellar defense and play from Frost in the cage kept Ohio State’s strong attack away from the goal.
[Riley Donnelly is fulfilling her potential as a star for Maryland field hockey]
And the Buckeyes (0-3) showed that push early. They drew three penalty corners in the first three minutes of the match. However, they couldn’t convert.
But that momentum shifted quickly. As soon as Maryland (2-1) gained possession, it charged up the field from left to right.
Kyler Greenwalt handled a pass on the far side of the 23-meter line from Emma DeBerdine. The senior dashed toward the cage and fired a shot that sailed to the left of goalkeeper Aaliyah Hernandez, and the Terps quickly celebrated the match’s first goal.
This was the senior’s second goal of the young season. She continues to impress in her return from a torn ACL that sidelined her for most of her sophomore year.
“Kyler’s such a spirited player. Such a smart player. She’s still getting strong,” Meharg said. “This is probably the healthiest she has been since she’s been here.”
Maryland drew a Big Ten-leading 18 penalty corners through its first two games. It took 10 minutes for the Terps to earn one on Friday.
[Maryland field hockey looks to improve its efficiency on penalty corners]
About eight minutes into the second quarter, Ohio State — which drew 10 total corners against Maryland’s two — picked up another one. The ensuing shot from Louise Fobe required a dive from Frost, who smothered the attempt.
“Today was definitely the most we faced in defense on the corners,” Frost said. “Everyone in the unit was just very collected. And I think it was just perfect.”
The Buckeyes’ surge continued. They drew eight penalty corners in the first half alone, but Frost took care of every shot. And Maryland held a narrow lead at halftime.
Ohio State opened the second half with another pair of corners, bringing it to 10 on the day. Throughout the third quarter, it continued to pressure the Terps’ defense and test Frost. But not a single shot crossed the line.
Meharg’s squad stayed strong on defense. Despite the Buckeyes’ continuing command of possession, Ohio State couldn’t breach Maryland’s net.
And with under a minute to play in regulation, the Terps made it pay. Maryland — which earned just two penalty corners — picked up a rare penalty stroke.
And Riley Donnelly converted, sealing a win that the Terps had to battle for.
“Riley Donnelly’s just one of the best at putting that away,” Meharg said. “Really proud of the women.”