Maryland field hockey has been familiar with tight games in recent weeks. Going down to the wire against Ohio State, Princeton and Michigan in their last three games, the Terps were rarely able to take a breath until after the final whistle.
But on Sunday, stress-free minutes were abundant. Freshman Sophie Klautz found the net first and only needed two minutes to do so. Hope Rose scored three minutes later, and Bibi Donraadt did it again with five minutes to play in the opening frame.
No. 3 Maryland dominated unranked Michigan State from start to finish to win its ninth game of the season, 7-2.
“You never know there’s going to be breathing room until you have it,” coach Missy Meharg said. “You can prepare a team and they have to understand that all of these games where you have been so dominant in some matches and taking shots and it could be nothing more than a trap game unless you really put the metal down.”
It took the Terps more than 60 minutes of game time to score a goal in Friday’s win over No. 8 Michigan. Klautz, notching her first score since a two-goal effort in the season-opening win over Drexel, needed just two minutes to start the scoring against the Spartans
Riley Donnelly, a fifth-year senior who made her first start of the season, assisted the goal. She’s been dealing with a “nagging injury,” a team spokesperson said, that has kept her out of the starting lineup. She’s still played in six of Maryland’s nine games entering Sunday
“Riley’s been a major impact player and student athlete in our program for four years,” Meharg said. “She’s coming along. She’s getting a lot of sustained minutes.”
Donnelly said she’s “feeling stronger each game.”
“It’s been hard being patient but being patient has paid off,” she said
Rose struck for the second time in the span of three minutes, scoring her team-leading ninth goal of the season less than five minutes into the contest.
Donraadt, who led the team in goals last season with 13, scored her fourth of the season midway through the opening quarter to give Maryland an early three-score advantage.
The 3-0 lead held through halftime after a scoreless second quarter. The Terps outshot the Spartans 12-2 through 30 minutes and had 10 shots on goal to Michigan State’s two.
The Terps scored for a fourth time courtesy of Emma DeBerdine on a Rose assist. She weaved through a myriad of defenders inside the shooting circle. With the attention on her, it left DeBerdine open on the right side with a clear look at the net.
Donnelly already logged an assist and was now in search of her first goal of 2022. Midway through the third quarter, she added on to Maryland’s already sizable lead. Her first score pushed the Terps to a 5-0 lead that allowed Missy Meharg to dive into her bench.
Reserve Maddie Gaughan took the field for the first time this season. Carly Hynd, Kylee Niswonger and Sam Zywna, who combined for 199 minutes of time on the field through nine games, also took over for most of the fourth quarter.
“In practice, those are people that are out there working when the people who have played more minutes are in watching filt,” Rose said. “They’re the ones out there putting in the physio, putting in the work and putting in the extra.”
Leah Crouse captured her second consecutive game with a goal one minute into the fourth quarter, and Rose added her second goal of the game moments later with a handful of reserves alongside her.
Despite two late Michigan State scores ending Maryland’s attempt at a shutout, the Terps’ offensive onslaught was too much for the Spartans to overcome. A season-high 28 shots attempted culminated in a 7-2 trashing of Michigan State for the Terps’ third Big Ten win.
“Going into every game, we treat it the same and we focus on Maryland,” Donnelly said. “If we play the way that we need to play, we’ll get strong outcomes.”
This story has been updated.