Maryland field hockey needed two overtimes to decide a winner versus UConn. The extra time followed an uncharacteristic Terps showing in regulation. Their offense was held in check through the entire first half and — outside of a Hope Rose penalty corner goal — most of the second.
The Terps have become familiar with overtime in 2022. Four of their contests required more than 60 minutes, and three of them ended with Maryland on top. The only defeat came in the only match that reached a second overtime period.
Rose darted toward the goal cage with Bibi Donraadt by her side late in the second overtime, the Terps’ best chance at a game winner through almost 20 minutes of extra time. Rose slapped a shot that was deflected by the Huskies’ goalie directly to Donraadt, who tapped in the game winner in front of an empty net.
No. 2 Maryland overcame early-game struggles offensively to win its final regular season match, 2-1. The win came in spite of a season-high in penalty corners allowed.
“You only need one successful attack to win the game,” Donraadt said. “It came off the post, and I was right there to tip it in.”
The start to the game continued the trend of Maryland coming out slow in road games this season. The Terps’ only two losses of the season came away from College Park, and their margins of victory in road contests are frequently smaller than their home ones.
Maryland’s early troubles stemmed from its inability to advance the ball through the midfield as easily as its been in most games this season. A tough Huskies defense kept it from doing so and was able to convert turnovers into a slew of offensive chances.
“They just have very good pressure on the girls that were receiving the ball,” Donraadt said. “As soon as you received the ball, you had five girls surrounding you right away.”
Sloppiness on both sides of the ball produced nine first-half UConn penalty corners, already exceeding Maryland’s previous season high of corners allowed.
The nine chances only translated to one score. The Huskies found the back of the net on their fifth corner for the first half’s only score as the 30-minute stretch ended with the Terps being outshot 10-8.
“As you’ve seen, that’s been an area that’s been a little bit weak for us,” Missy Meharg said. “So today was a big day for our corner defense.”
Maryland’s offense began showing glimpses to open the third quarter. It earned three penalty corner chances within the first three minutes of the half and took advantage of the third. Rose recaptured the team lead in goals with her 12th of the season, firing a rocket from the left side past the Huskies goalkeeper.
The second half differed slightly from the first, but an uncommon Terps offense never truly got in a rhythm. The Terps matched UConn in shot attempts and only gave up two penalty corners in the third quarter and edged the home team in shots on goal despite taking fewer total.
The fourth quarter had just one shot from each side to cap off a regular time that was highlighted by disorganized attacks.
UConn’s best chance to take the game in overtime came late in the period when a two-on-one breakaway possession set up the potential game winner. The Huskies’ two attackers got through Rayne Wright and had only Christina Calandra in their way.
The senior goalie, making her second consecutive start after serving as the backup for most of the season, killed the opportunity by taking away an open look with a sliding stop to end the first overtime.
“She came out, she played the angle well, went back then came back up and made the save,” Meharg said. “It was excellent.”
Rose and Donraadt charged up the field with just minutes left in double overtime. The two worked together to score the game winner nearly 80 minutes after the game began.
A loss to close out its regular season slate would have given Maryland two defeats in its last three games. Instead, the Terps narrowly avoided it to secure a 16-2 finish to 2022.
“In postseason, you have to be ready for those kinds of situations,” Donraadt said.