With Maryland up by one early against Rutgers on Thursday, Josie Hollamon placed herself near the goal line. As a Scarlet Knights shot approached, Hollamon — facing the net — pushed her stick out and accidentally deflected it for an own goal.
The freshman’s mistake tied the game, and Rutgers won after two overtime periods and a penalty shootout.
But Hollamon got a chance at redemption in the Terps’ match against Penn State on Sunday. She took advantage to net two goals in the 4-2 win and was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week.
“We’re always fired up but today was a special game. I mean, we wanted to come out and make a statement, especially after our Rutgers game,” she said. “I’m glad we were able to come out, win and get our first Big Ten win.”
Hollamon’s performance doubled her total goals, and tied her for the third most goals on the team. Her nine points place her fourth among the team.
Hollamon dominated the pitch against the Nittany Lions. She moved up from her defensive position to the top of the shooting position. There, she sent a perfect backhand shot for Maryland’s second score of the game. She found the back of the net again in the third quarter to extend the Terps’ lead to four.
“I was just telling myself, keep playing Maryland field hockey,” Hollamon said. “Do what we’ve talked about. Execute on the right side and get a win.”
Her strong performance continued an impressive debut season. Hollamon has started all 11 games as the Terps’ center back. She works with Maura Verleg, Nathalie Fiechter and Rayne Wright on a backline that’s given up 13 goals, the fourth-fewest allowed in the conference.
Riley Donnelly’s graduation opened a starting position Maryland needed to fill. Donnelly notched nine goals and 23 points last year, and Hollamon has stepped in to offer similar offensive output from the back line.
The rest of Maryland’s defense remains very similar to the 2022 lineup. That gave Hollamon experience to lean on, but also increased the pressure she faced to integrate into existing pieces. Undeterred, coach Missy Meharg placed Hollamon in the starting lineup from the season opener, confident in her abilities.
“Josie Hollamon loves competition,” Meharg said in mid-September. “It’s nice to see her get on the board. She’s got the mentality, she’s got the power and she’s got the discipline to work at it.”
Hollamon’s mistake in the painful loss to Rutgers could have had lasting effects. But Sunday’s game marked both a “Red Out” and Maryland’s Family Weekend, which brought in a host of crimson-clad fans to the Terps home bleachers.
The fan turnout helped the Terps, Hollamon said.
“That was amazing. I’ve never been a part of a game so far where we’ve had a crowd like that, she said. “Their energy was amazing. And I think it fed into our side.”