Frantic finish clinched Maryland field hockey a share of Big Ten regular season title

Leah Crouse scored early within the fourth quarter of Maryland field hockey’s contest in opposition to Rutgers to position the Terps on best, 2-1, with moderately greater than 10 mins to play. Maryland trailed for almost all of the sport, however with two ratings past due within the 3rd and early within the fourth, it discovered its first lead.

Bibi Donraadt scored to double Maryland’s benefit moments later. The lead gave the impression insurmountable with best 5 mins ultimate and a Rutgers offense that tried best 4 pictures in the course of the first 3 quarters. 

Unbeknownst to both sides, Donraadt’s rating kicked off a 5 minute stretch that featured 4 general targets and two lead adjustments. 

The Scarlet Knights reduce the Terps’ lead in part with 4 mins left after pulling their goalie to get an offensive benefit. They scored once more two mins later, tying the sport at 3 with two mins to play. 

“When you pull your goal and you have that extra number of player, you can really just get dominated on your backhand side,” trainer Missy Meharg mentioned after the sport.

Maryland and Rutgers had been at the breaking point of extra time to make a decision if the convention regular season title can be claimed on Sunday or placed on dangle for every other week. Crouse and the Terps’ forwards made a ultimate push towards the function cage with lower than a minute to play having a look to keep away from the additional time. 

Danielle van Rootselaar hovered on the best of the taking pictures circle and located Donraadt within. She fed to Crouse, who fired a slap shot that used to be blocked however allowed Crouse to faucet in a 2nd try on a rebound with little resistance, placing Maryland on best to cap off the frantic conclusion to the combat of convention opponents. 

[Maryland field hockey clinches share of regular season Big Ten title, beats Rutgers, 4-3]

A swarm of Terps rushed to huddle in birthday celebration at midfield, then yet again on their sideline, lifting the convention title trophy whilst donning commemorative hats and T-shirts. 

“This team’s amazing,” Meharg mentioned. “They find a way to win.”

Maryland’s 12 seniors and graduate scholars had been venerated all the way through a rite after their penultimate house sport. Seniors and graduate scholars had been answerable for all 4 targets and two assists within the win. 

Crouse led with two targets to convey her season general to 9. Donraadt additionally notched her 9th function of the 12 months off of a Maura Verleg help. Margot Lawn ended the offense’s silent afternoon with their first function within the 3rd quarter, assisted via Riley Donnelly.

“It’s very special, certainly for [Donraadt] and [Donnelly] who are fifth-year Maryland COVID seniors,” Meharg mentioned. “They made a decision to stay here. You want to stay here, so you can put your team in position to win championships. This is the first step.”

The win marked Maryland’s 14th this season because it rolls towards a possible one-loss season, which might be its fewest losses since a 23-1 marketing campaign in 2010. 

It additionally saved the Terps unbeaten each in convention and at house this season. An 8-0 Big Ten finish in 2015 used to be the final time Maryland completed a regular season convention slate with out a loss, and it’s been greater than a complete 12 months since its final house defeat.

[Scott Tupper’s fiery coaching style helped steady Maryland field hockey’s defense]

No. 4 Penn State, who sits 2nd within the Big Ten standings at 5-1, awaits the Terps subsequent. It’s their ultimate combat with a convention foe and antepenultimate regular season sport general with Virginia and UConn at the docket to wrap up regular season play.

The Nittany Lions constitute Maryland’s final hurdle it will have to transparent sooner than claiming the outright convention regular season title. 

A win over Penn State Friday will give the Terps complete declare to the title. A loss would stay the Nittany Lions, who combat Rutgers of their ultimate regular season sport, within the race. The title can be divided in the event that they win their ultimate two video games. 

Meharg and her staff’s function all the way through the regular season has been to say the fifteenth regular season title in program historical past, which in flip offers them the No. 1 seed within the convention match. 

The win that gave Maryland no less than a share of the title appeared eerily very similar to a postseason come-from-behind victory greater than a decade in the past, Meharg mentioned. She likened it to the Terps’ 2011 National Championship win in opposition to North Carolina, after they scored the equalizing function as time expired within the fourth quarter and went directly to win in extra time.

If Maryland has hopes of attaining the similar degree in 2022, wins like Sunday’s breed toughness that shall be instrumental to triumph over even probably the most nerve-racking adversity. 

“The resilience, the fortitude, the collectiveness to believe that even having two goals scored against you in such a short amount of time, to go down and find a way to get a final goal is just a testament to their character,” Meharg mentioned.

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