Hope Rose drove from the top of the circle looking to break the tie that held for the majority of Maryland field hockey’s battle with Cal. Rose’s shot late in the fourth quarter found the back of the net and put the Terps ahead. Less than two minutes later, she added to Maryland’s advantage, placing the ball back in the corner of the cage, where it was moments earlier.
Knotted at one goal apiece since early in the first half, the Terps found three goals in the waning minutes of the final period to push past the Golden Bears, 4-1, for their second straight victory to open 2023.
“[Rose] is special,” coach Missy Meharg said. “She can go one-on-one, one-on-three and dish it off to a teammate. I love that combination.”
Maryland failed to fire a shot on Cal in the game’s first 13 minutes, a vastly different start than the Terps’ season opener at Stanford when they found their first score in the opening two minutes of the win.
Kitty Baccanello scored the game’s first goal near the end of the opening frame. On a Golden Bears breakaway opportunity, Baccanello found an open look at Paige Keift and fired past her on an assist from Bente Baekers.
Now behind, Maryland’s defense began to press to give its offense a chance to find an equalizer.
Rose collected the ball in the opening minutes of the second period with her team down a score. She fed to Maci Bradford who fired to an open Margot Lawn, leading to the Terps’ first goal of the contest and Bradford’s second career assist in as many games. The score came with Cal down a player after Olivia Sharratt received a green card.
Bradford, who scored her first collegiate goal in Maryland’s season opener, has been a prominent contributor in the Terps’ undefeated start to the 2023 campaign.
“We started out on our back foot,” Meharg said. “We have a completely new midfield. We’ve got young freshman players opening up so it took us a while to get to it.”
Now tied, the game remained even deep into the fourth period. The Golden Bears consistently pressured Maryland’s goal, ending the first half with six shots to the Terps’ one. Meharg swapped goalkeepers to begin the second half, bringing in Alyssa Klebasko for Kieft.
The freshman, who played 15 minutes against Stanford, saved the only Cal shot on goal of the final 30 minutes while Maryland unleashed a barrage of shots on the Golden Bears. The Terps outshot the opposition 7-1 in the third period and 12-3 in the second half.
“It’s super important to get both of them experience,” Meharg said. “We have tons of confidence in both of them.”
Maryland’s first eight attempts of the half missed. Finally, Rose broke through and ended her team’s scoreless drought with less than seven minutes remaining in regulation to give the Terps their first lead.
“We started off the fourth quarter super strong, which allowed us to get that first corner shot and got it past the goalie,” Rose said. “Then after that restart, we kind of hit a mentality of ‘We can go quick and we know what to do.’”