Everything was going Maryland field hockey’s way on Friday night.
Late in the fourth quarter, it looked like No. 24 Ohio State may have just finally found the back of the goal, as the ball appeared to sneak past Christina Calandra.
But Emma DeBerdine jumped in, making a stellar defensive save to turn the ball away at the last second.
That moment epitomized how Friday night’s regular season finale went for the Terps. The rain that poured throughout the match didn’t seem to impact No. 4 Maryland, which closed out its regular season with a 6-0 shutout of the Buckeyes.
“We couldn’t be in a better place heading into the postseason,” coach Missy Meharg said.
As rain poured over the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex, Maryland (13-5, 4-4 Big Ten) got its attack going early, drawing a trio of penalty corners during the first quarter.
Two of them came back-to-back, about 10 minutes into the match. And on the latter, the Terps capitalized.
It was a textbook sequence from Maryland. Emma DeBerdine passed the ball to Maura Verleg, who set Hope Rose up for a shot. And the freshman hammered it into the back of the goal — giving the Terps a 1-0 lead.
And it was the same play that helped Maryland extend its lead.
Early in the second quarter, Meharg ran the goal-scoring set-up back. And Ohio State (7-10, 1-7 Big Ten) goalkeeper Aaliyah Hernandez didn’t have an answer.
DeBerdine sent a clean ball to Verleg, but this time Verleg controlled the ball for a Riley Donnelly drag flick shot. And on her Senior Day, Donnelly delivered.
Late in the second quarter, Margot Lawn slapped a shot from deep, well outside the circle beyond the 23-meter line. It sailed pretty close to the goal, and just before Hernandez went to cover it, Mayv Clune redirected it into the air.
Another senior came through and the Terps took a 3-0 lead.
“I’m really happy that my family is all here to see it,” said Clune, whose Senior Day goal was her first of the season. “I’m just grateful for the opportunity to be out on the field.”
With the rain heavily coming down, especially at the onset of the match, both offenses were slow to string together scoring opportunities — but when Maryland did — it didn’t waste time. At the time of Clune’s goal, the Terps had scored three times on just six shots on goal.
For the beginning of the third quarter, the Buckeyes’ defense clamped down on Maryland, significantly limiting its opportunities to score.
But the Terps soon drew another corner. And quickly went to work.
Hope Rose fired the initial shot, which banged off a diving Abby Danson, who checked in for Hernandez in the second half. However it rebounded off her and back to the offense.
Anna Castaldo worked with it to find open space. The next thing Hernandez knew, the ball was by her and the scoreboard read 4-0.
The Terps were far from done. Off a corner late in the third, Kyler Greenwalt scored off an assist from Donnelly.
Maryland took a commanding 5-0 lead, its largest advantage since its 8-2 win over Indiana on Sept. 24.
And it kept piling it on.
Bibi Donraadt, another senior, extended her team-high to 10 goals on the season. She scored off an assist from Lawn to give the Terps a 6-0 lead they would see through the end of the match.
And after the final whistle, smiles were all over the home team’s faces. Meharg went over to each of her seniors and hugged them as they came off the pitch, finishing out a dominant senior night.
“It’s always great to leave on a good note,” Donnelly said.