After an unsuccessful penalty corner try in the first quarter, Maryland field hockey drew up something new for its first opportunity in the second. In the first attempt, Emma DeBerdine passed to Hope Rose, who awaited at the top of the circle before having her shot deflected. It highlighted an underwhelming opening 15 minutes that featured no goals and only three shots.
During the second penalty corner, Rose passed back to DeBerdine — who sat to the right of unsuspecting Drexel goalie Megan Hadfield — rather than taking it herself. By the time Hadfield reacted to Rose’s pass, DeBerdine’s shot was in the net for the Terps’ first goal of the 2022 season.
The score unlocked Maryland’s offense, specifically Rose. Last season’s Big Ten Freshman of the Year added two goals and another assist to give Maryland a lead that it was never close to losing. Meanwhile, the Terps’ shutdown defensive effort limited Drexel to two shots on goal, giving Maryland a season-opening 7-1 win.
“We put a player right in front of the girl with the ball,” coach Missy Meharg said. “They liked that. You have to be able to play that way, and that kind of changed the momentum. We have a couple of different pressures. We have three that we’ve been working on and then a different press in each corner, but that’s one of the hardest things is pressing.”
The Terps lagged offensively in the opening quarter, something Meharg said has been an issue in years past and one she hopes to correct. The first 15 minutes concluded in a scoreless tie with Maryland tallying just three shots on goal.
But during the break, Meharg emphasized bringing the speed to counter Drexel’s defense, Rose said. The coach also adjusted defensively, changing the shape of her team’s press look.
After the changes, the quarter became the opposite of the first. Following DeBerdine’s score, Rose knocked the ball into the left side of the net from the right side of the circle for her first goal and added another on a penalty for her second.
“She’s very gritty and goes for every single ball,” Danielle Van Rootselaar said. “The passing game that we did really makes our team look best and makes Hope look best.”
Sophie Klautz, the only freshman in Meharg’s starting lineup, also found the net twice during Maryland’s offensive onslaught. Her first came unassisted shortly after Rose’s first goal to give Maryland a 3-0 advantage. The next gave the Terps a 4-0 lead early in the third quarter.
Klautz has impressed throughout the initial weeks of the season, Meharg said. Tonight, she was finally able to put it on display.
“She’s got a huge ceiling,” Meharg said.
Maryland’s defense and Christina Calandra, who started the season opener at goalie after competing for the spot with Paige Kieft through the first few weeks of practice, combined to lock down the Drexel attack. The Dragons finished the first half with no shots on goal to Maryland’s eight.
Calandra played 40 minutes in net and Kieft logged 20, a time split that Meharg is unsure if it’s predictive of what’s to come but a strategy that she wants to deploy again.
“Sometimes it’s nice to practice making a change in the middle of a quarter,” Meharg said. “Play it by ear every match.”
After Klautz’s score to open the second half, Maryland found points from new contributors. Margot Lawn’s goal stretched the Terps’ lead to 5-0 and Van Rootselaar’s score to open the final quarter gave Maryland a 7-0 advantage.
The defense’s perfect night ended in the game’s final minutes when Avery Powell’s shot found the net midway through the fourth quarter for the first points of the night for the Dragons, who struggled to overcome Meharg’s defensive adjustments and a potent and unrelenting Maryland offensive attack headlined by Rose.
“We’re working so hard at possessing the ball, making good angles,” Meharg said. “I’m super impressed. We got five great players that can play back there.”