The Rutgers field hockey team faced off against Maryland in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals on Friday. The Scarlet Knights (15-2, 6-2) fell to the Terrapins (14-4, 6-2) by a score of 2-1 and were eliminated from the tournament.
The game started out even, as both sides tried to create scoring opportunities and command possession of the ball. No. 8 Maryland would have the first scoring chance of the contest after approximately 7 minutes of play when redshirt junior goalkeeper Sophia Howard saved Kylee Niswonger’s near-post attempt. Howard also saved Hope Rose’s shot at the end of the first period to keep the game scoreless.
The second period was a defensive battle that only saw a total of three shots attempted between both sides. No. 5 Rutgers started to create scoring chances in the third period, with the first shot coming from redshirt senior back Iris Langejans.
The Knights then opened the scoring with a goal from junior midfielder Lucy Bannatyne after approximately 38 minutes of play. Langejans played a pass to Bannatyne and her reverse chip shot went past Alyssa Klebasko into the back of the cage. The goal was Bannatyne’s first of the season.
The Terrapins responded with immediate pressure on Rutgers' backline as they pushed for a goal in the final minutes of the third period. Maryland had a penalty corner opportunity, but Howard remained strong between the posts, using her leg to keep out Rose’s effort.
The Terrapins continued their attacking momentum in the fourth period. Margot Lawn leveled the game on a diving shot goal with approximately 10 minutes left to play in regulation. The assist was credited to Hannah Boss.
Shortly after, Maci Bradford scored from a rebound off a corner to give Maryland the lead.
With less than 5 minutes to play, the Knights pushed for an equalizing goal with shots from junior midfielders Paulina Niklaus and Guillermina Causarano. Klebaska saved their shots, though, and Rutgers suffered defeat.
The Terrapins finished the game with a 13-10 lead in shots and a 5-4 lead in penalty corners. Howard recorded six saves in the contest despite conceding 2 goals. The game was a close and clean battle, as neither side committed a foul.
The Knights will now wait until Sunday at 10 p.m. to see if their name is called to play in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2021.
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