Maryland, Rutgers Score Four Goals in Last Five Minutes in Terps’ 4-3 Victory
Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics
The No. 2 Terps field hockey team came out on top, 4-3, following the frantic final minutes of Sunday’s matchup against visiting No. 20 Rutgers to clinch its sixth overall Big Ten Conference championship and first since 2019.
It is Maryland's 15th overall regular-season conference championship, with nine in the ACC and six in the Big Ten.
The Terps (14-1, 7-0) led 3-1 with 4:25 remaining, but Rutgers' (7-7, 3-4) Rachel Houston scored two goals in under two minutes to tie the game after the Scarlet Knights pulled their goalie to give them an extra offensive player. Maryland and Leah Crouse responded with 41 seconds left—her second goal of the game and second in the final five minutes of play.
This marks Maryland's 46th overall Big Ten title since joining the conference, including both Championships and Tournament Championships. That is the third most of any school since the 2014-15 season when Maryland first became a member of the Big Ten.
Head coach Missy Meharg earned her 15th regular-season title and 27th overall conference championship, including conference tournaments.
"This team's amazing,” she said. “They find a way to win. Just the resilience, the fortitude, the collectiveness to believe that even having two goals scored against you in such a short amount of time, to then go down and find a way to get a final goal. It's a testament to their character."
Rutgers scored first, thanks to a goal from Marique Dieuonne off a penalty corner and held that lead until after the half.
“We needed to change it up” coming out of halftime, Meharg said. “We really put more pressure on their backs, and that helped us gain momentum.”
That paid off with just over five minutes left in the third quarter, as Riley Donnelly streaked down the right side of the field and found Margot Lawn in front of the goal for the equalizer.
The Terps notched the go-ahead goal with just over 11 minutes remaining as Crouse slapped a hard-struck shot past Rutgers' Sophia Howard in goal. Maura Verleg recorded the assist on the play.
Bibi Donraadt added a goal before Rutgers notched two of their own. Crouse played hero again as she found the game-winner in the final minute.
The Terps will travel Friday to No. 4 Penn State (13-2, 5-1) to contend for the outright conference title.
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