Margot Lawn faced her teammates as she readied to take a penalty corner. Lawn quickly swept the ball across the circle to Nathalie Fiechter, who tapped it to Sammy Popper. The transfer from Princeton then drove the ball into the back of the cage — giving No. 3 Maryland field hockey a lead just over two minutes into the 2023 season.

A little over a minute later, the Terps doubled their advantage as Maci Bradford, a freshman making her first start, scored her first collegiate goal with a swift and unassisted drive she capped by sliding the ball around Stanford goalie Daisy Ford.

Maryland tacked on three more goals and coast to a 4-0 season-opening victory over the Cardinal Friday. The game was the first of three for the Terps out west. They will face Cal Sunday and UC Davis Monday.

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Maryland totalled 12 shots — including eight on goal. Popper and Bradford led the team with three shots each. Popper was named to the All-Ivy League First Team last season with the Tigers. Bradford was a five-time Delaware state champion in high school and a top-10 recruit per MAX Field Hockey.

The Terps used long sweep passes — ones where they kept their sticks low and close to their feet — around and into the shooting circle. Those passes occasionally hit players’ feet, drawing penalties and giving Maryland corners — it had seven compared to Stanford’s one.

Meharg’s team capitalized on those opportunities. Late in the third quarter, freshman Josie Hollamon, Bradford’s high school teammate and another top 10 recruit, slid the ball over to midfielder Hannah Boss, who knocked home a goal. Hollamon and Bradford were the only freshmen who started for Maryland.

Less than 8 minutes later, the Terps scored on another penalty corner. This one came from veteran Hope Rose, one of the Big Ten’s Players to Watch. She punctuated the victory by winding up and slamming a rocket from the top of the circle that breezed past Ford.

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Maryland also dominated defensively. Stanford had just one shot and one corner at the end of the first half and finished with just four shots total. Terps’ goalie Paige Kieft made two saves before giving way to freshman Alyssa Klebasko.

Head coach Missy Meharg arranged her defensive line in a “V” formation — playing her center defender deep and her wing defenders wide. That allowed the Terps to swing the ball around with passes that moved faster than Cardinal players.

Rayne Wright and the rest of the defense switched sides of the field with long passes that helped the Terps maintain possession. No Stanford player had more than one shot.