Maryland, with just over one minute left in its opening game of the Big Ten/ACC Cup, crowded the goal as it set up to defend a penalty corner. Duke’s insert created a shot from the outside right that was saved by a diving Paige Kieft. But her deflection was quickly rebounded and fired back and into the net.
With that, the Terps suffered their first loss of the season.
After spending the first week in California, No. 3 Maryland returned to College Park to host the annual tournament between college field hockey’s top two conferences. The second-chance goal in the battle’s final seconds put the Terps behind for the first time this season and gave way to a 2-1 defeat.
Friday’s loss started similar to Maryland’s (3-1) first three matches, with an early goal giving the Terps the game’s first lead.
Ashlyn Carr needed just 23 seconds after the whistle blew to find her first goal with Maryland. The graduate transfer from Delaware found the back of the net with a flick over Duke’s goalie to send the ball soaring into the top left corner.
The game’s pace increased in the second quarter as the No. 20 Blue Devils (2-0) began attacking deeper into Maryland’s defensive zone. The Terps’ backline held strong, continuing to repel the ball and sweep it away with defender’s sticks low to the ground.
But Duke eventually broke through Maryland’s back line. Alaina McVeigh found her way through the defense, pulling left around the shooting circle and finishing with a hard drive through goalie Paige Kieft’s legs. Before this, Maryland had only been tied once this season — in its win over Cal.
Coach Missy Meharg left Kieft in the cage for nearly the entirety of Friday, keeping freshman Alyssa Klebasko on the sideline and deviating from the game plan the coach had for the first three games. Kieft and Klebasko both split time in net through the Terps’ first three wins.
On Friday, Kieft started and played until Meharg opted for an empty net in the final minutes, finishing with six saves on eight Duke shots on goal.
The two attempts Kieft failed to protect, however, were enough for the Blue Devils to earn their second win of the season with Maryland’s lackluster offensive showing. The Terps were outshot 11-6, registering just two shots in the second half to Duke’s nine
Carr’s score in the first minute proved too little, her efforts undermined by the Blue Devils’ game-winning penalty corner goal with one minute to go for the Terps’ first blemish of 2023.