Already ahead 1-0, Maryland field hockey looked to extend its advantage and take a commanding lead in its first round NCAA tournament matchup against Old Dominion.
Sammy Popper, hot from her first penalty corner score, rocketed a shot into the back of the net from the top of the shooting circle on another penalty corner to give Maryland the two goal lead.
The goal was Popper’s second of the game and 10th of the season.
No. 4-seeded Maryland used a commanding 3-0 performance against the Monarchs to advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament. The Terps will face the winner of the Virginia and Saint Joseph’s game.
“They’re a great team,” Old Dominion coach Andrew Griffiths said of the Terps. “We knew coming in it would be high level.”
Both teams suffered from slow starts on a day that was plagued by consistent rain — neither team got a shot off during the game’s first six minutes.
Popper changed that when she put a penalty corner shot from the top of the shooting circle into the back of the net. The goal made it a 1-0 game with just over five minutes left in the opening frame.
Maryland’s first penalty corner attempt was a rocket by Hope Rose to the bottom left corner, but the shot was saved by a diving Broers.
Popper shot past Old Dominion goalie Sue Broers just under halfway through the second frame to give the Terps a 2-0 lead.
“I was pleased with our defensive penalty corners, certainly our goaltending and then our opportunities to take those shots on penalty corners,” coach Missy Meharg said.
Old Dominion attempted to tie the game at one with a penalty corner attempt of their own with around two minutes remaining in the first frame, but forward Sacha de Gier’s attempt went wide left.
Lawn kept the party going for Maryland with her goal with just over three minutes to go in the third frame. She rocketed a point blank shot into the right corner of the net on the assist from Anna Castaldo for the 3-0 lead.
Old Dominion’s best chance to score on a penalty corner came on Nicole Fredericks’ shot just under five minutes into the third frame, but Maryland goalie Alyssa Klebasko was able to make the save.
Fredericks rocketed another shot on goal just under a minute into the fourth frame, but Klebasko made the save yet again for the Terps, her sixth of the day.
It was a quiet first half for Klebasko who only made two saves during both frames as the Terps’ defensive front held strong.
“She’s one of these goalie that waves to minimize the shots she has to actually take,” Meharg said. “You love goalies that are just natural competitors.”
Just over three minutes into the second frame, Margot Lawn almost made it a 2-0 game, but her diving point blank shot from the far left side of the goal was unable to find its way into the net.
Even down two, the Monarchs continued to draw penalty corner attempts with their second coming with less than five minutes to go in the first half. But the Old Dominion insert was botched and the unit failed to even put the ball close to the net.
Despite Old Dominion outshooting Maryland 10-to-7 through the entire course of the game, the Monarchs were unable to convert on any of their shots.
“We’re a team that can come back from anything,” Popper said. “We can [always] handle it.”
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- Preview: No. 4 Maryland field hockey faces No. 17 Old Dominion in the NCAA tournament - November 9, 2023