EAST LANSING, Mich. -- The second-seeded Maryland field hockey team (13-6) fell to third-seeded Penn State (16-3) in the Big Ten Tournament Semifinals Friday afternoon at Michigan State’s Ralph Young Field.
“It’s a tribute to the team’s work rate to come back twice against an aggressive, attacking Penn State team,” head coach Missy Meharg said. “Getting 18 shots and penetrating the circle over 40 times, should result in outcome. When we press high, the intent is to go to goal. The Maryland players know as forwards it’s our job to dive for balls.”
Penn State got on the board first when Moira Putsch scored seven minutes into the match off the Nittany Lions’ first shot of the game.
Less than ten minutes later, Rhodes tied it for Maryland in the 17th minute when she sent in a shot from five yards out off of a rebounded shot.
In the 20th minute, the Nittany Lions took the lead back, 2-1, when Cassie Kline scored off a pass from Gini Bramley.
Maryland outshot Penn State 13-4 in the first 35 minutes, but trailed 2-1 at halftime.
The Terrapins controlled the ball through much of the second half, then got a penalty corner with just under 13 minutes remaining. The shot was wide, but the Terps used their referral to look for a Nittany Lion foot on the shot.
Maryland won the referral and got a second penalty corner. Keus deflected in her 10th goal of the season off the corner to the game at 2-2 with 11:57 remaining in the game.
After another delay for a Penn State video referral, the Nittany Lions’ Katie Dembrowski scored off a penalty corner with 3:57 to play to take a 3-2 lead.
The Terps outshot Penn State, 18-8 overall and had seven penalty corners to five. Junior goalkeeper Sarah Holliday made three saves.
Maryland has scored 29 goals in the last eight games. They scored 26 in their previous 11 games to start the season. Six Terrapins have scored five goals or more.
Prior to Friday’s matchup, the Terrapins won seven straight games, including four over ranked opponents.
Head coach Missy Meharg is in her 30th season as head coach of the Terrapins. She’s led them to a record of 540-134-9 (.798), seven NCAA titles, 23 conference titles and 16 Final Fours. She has been named NFHCA National Coach of the Year an unprecedented nine times in her career.
Maryland was tabbed as the No. 7 team in the country in the Penn Monto/Division I Coaches poll released Oct. 31.
The NCAA Tournament Selection Show will be Sunday at 10 p.m. ET on NCAA.com.