Margot Lawn sent the ball to a teammate at the top of the shooting circle before she settled the ball and faked a shot, leaving the ball for Sammy Popper.
The graduate student’s shot ricocheted over the Eagles’ goalie and into the back of the net to give the Terps the lead late in the third quarter. Her finish proved to be a decisive one.
No. 9 Maryland field hockey traveled to Washington, D.C., on Sunday and secured a narrow 2-1 victory against American in its final nonconference matchup of the regular season. The neighboring teams remained tied for a majority of the match until Popper’s goal lifted the Terps past their local opponents.
Maryland (10-3, 2-1 Big Ten) took the lead quickly in Sunday’s game via its top scorer. Ashlyn Carr played the ball to Hope Rose, who swung back and drove the ball from the edge of the circle through the goalie’s legs to give the Terps an advantage just three minutes into the match.
Maryland played consistently switching the field with its passes. The Terps used a variety of long and short passes to create a quick paced match and maintain possession around the Eagles’ defenders.
But the Eagles (6-6) took advantage in one of their rare instances in which they controlled possession in the first quarter.
Midfielder Federica Turina Dellamaggiore carried the ball around the outside of the Terps shooting circle with about a minute left in the opening frame. She angled her body away from the net as she struck the ball with a power backhanded shot. Before goalie Alyssa Klebasko could even move, the ball hit the net.
The junior from Argentina hadn’t found the back of the net with the 34 shots she had taken so far this season, but Dellamaggiores’ strike tied the match early on against Maryland.
Klebasko started her third game in a row for the Terps and finished Sunday’s match with five saves. The freshman worked side by side on the deep backline with Rayne Wright but could not replicate the shutout she secured against Michigan State on Friday. American’s goal was only the fifth Klebasko has allowed this season.
The teams picked up the intensity each quarter after entering halftime tied. The Terps utilized their stick work to control and maneuver the ball around the Eagles circle. Playing low to the ground and holding the ball drew offense penalties and created 11 corner opportunities for Maryland.
The Terps generated multiple shots off of corner set ups. A goal line save and misplaced drives kept Maryland to just two scores despite 12 shots on goal, but Popper’s third-quarter goal secured the victory for coach Missy Meharg’s squad.
Maryland will travel to take on No. 15 University of Michigan in Ann Arbor this Friday and hope to continue the momentum of its current three-game winning streak as it enters the latter stages of regular season Big Ten play.