Emma DeBerdine was in traffic near the cage, a half-step in front of Rutgers’ Gianna Mancini. She flung a backhanded shot at Scarlet Knights’ goalkeeper Gianna Glatz, who kicked the ball up in the air with her right foot.
Glatz moved out of the cage to retrieve the ball. DeBerdine moved over first and smacked the ball onto the ground in front of the cage with her stick. Bibi Donraadt had been playing behind DeBerdine. The forward dashed toward the cage and used the side of her stick to bury the shot.
And three minutes later, the final horn sounded. Rutgers’ Katie Larmour and Milena Redlingshoefer dropped to their knees and buried their heads into the pitch in disbelief.
Donraadt’s goal lifted the No. 12 Terps to a 2-1 win over No. 6 Rutgers — and a weekend sweep.
“It was a great team effort,” Donraadt said. “We were just hyped up and ready to score the goal and take that win in regular time.”
Prior to the match, Maryland (8-6) already had its Big Ten tournament spot locked. It completed its regular season with a conference record of 5-3 and earned the No. 4 seed in the tournament.
Less than three minutes into the match, Belle Bressler rocketed a shot toward the cage that deflected off Mayv Clune’s stick and sailed out of play.
Exactly four minutes later, the Terps took another shot — and this one connected.
From the right side of the circle, Anna Castaldo fired a pass toward the center, right in front of Rutgers (9-5) Glatz. Clune was again the beneficiary, standing in front of her defender as she slid the ball past Glatz.
Clune immediately raised her right arm in the air and smiled. The redshirt junior had netted her first goal of the season.
The Terps continued to charge ahead. After a defensive breakaway, Riley Donnelly launched a deep pass toward Sam Zywna, which rolled out of bounds. But Maryland continued surging.
Eight minutes into the second quarter, the Terps drew a penalty shot. For the first time this season, Donnelly missed the open look. She tried a drag flick toward the right side of Glatz, who dove and knocked the ball away, eliciting a roar from the Scarlet Knights’ crowd.
Maryland headed to the locker room at halftime holding a one-goal lead over Rutgers for the second consecutive match.
Early in the third quarter, the Scarlet Knights drew their second penalty corner of the match. And the ensuing shot by Milena Redlingshoefer rolled wide, left of the cage, and Rutgers headed back to defend.
Both defenses started to take control as the match continued. Redlingshoefer’s attempt off the Scarlet Knights’ corner was the only shot of the third quarter.
“It’s the attitude and the mindset of the entire attack penalty corner unit,” coach Missy Meharg said. “That’s what makes Rutgers very dangerous.”
As soon as the clock reset to 15 minutes for the final time of the regular season, Rutgers came back on the pitch furiously.
After Maura Verleg tried to get the ball out of the backfield, Scarlet Knights’ midfielder Tayla Parkes stepped in and re-captured possession. Eventually, redshirt senior Katie Larmour took a shot that missed.
As the Scarlet Knights continued attacking, there was a little twist-up down the pitch. Several players collided, and it resulted in a foul and a Rutgers penalty stroke after video review.
This was the first penalty stroke Terps’ goalkeeper Noelle Frost faced this season, and Redlingshoefer nailed it. An ecstatic Scarlet Knights squad had knotted the match at one.
And they kept pushing. Rutgers earned a trio of penalty corners in the same minute, and all three shots came up empty.
“I can’t applaud Noelle Frost enough,” Meharg said.
Maryland took the ball back and charged downfield. As it began to get its offense rolling, it drew its second penalty corner of the match. And its crowd erupted.
Eventually, DeBerdine knocked the ball out of the air and straight to Donraadt behind her. She pushed the ball into the net, giving the Terps a late lead and, ultimately, the win.
“I am 100 percent sure that these two wins will bring us through the tournament with this really good mindset and make our team even stronger,” Donraadt said.