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Maryland Athletics | October 17, 2016

No. 6 Maryland's big second half beats No. 5 Penn St.

  Three straight second-half goals lifted Maryland to a win at Penn State.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The sixth-ranked Maryland field hockey team (12-3, 6-1 Big Ten) won 5-4 at No. 5 Penn State on Sunday to clinch at least a share of the Big Ten regular-season title. This is the fourth straight season the Terps have won at least a share of their regular-season conference title. Maryland is 21-2 in Big Ten play since joining the league in 2014.

After the teams were tied at half, Maryland scored three goals in the second half to go up 5-2. Penn State (12-2, 4-2) scored twice in the final eight minutes to make it a dramatic finish.

“What an exciting game,” head coach Missy Meharg said. “Penn State is so athletic, well coached. To get nine goals out of two very good attacking teams is so exciting. You have to be ready to play in those tight, one-goal situations. We couldn’t be more proud of the women today. They played together the whole time. We had many young players play lots of different positions and that’s been our strength this season.”

Fifth-year senior Welma Luus wasted no time getting Maryland on the board first when she cracked a hard shot into the cage from five yards out just 2:30 into the match.

Just over a minute later, Penn State tied the game when Brooke Birosik scored.

Freshman Madison Maguire gave the Terrapins the lead back when she scored off a rebound on a penalty corner in the 16thminute. After the Penn State keeper stopped the first two Maryland shots, Maguire found the lower corner of the cage for the score.

The Nittany Lions tied it up later in the first half when Madison Morano deflected in a score off of penalty corner with 8:08 left in the period. The teams would stay tied at half.

RELATED: NFHCA field hockey rankings

Freshman Kelee Lepage broke the 2-2 tie when she subbed in, then scored off the rebound on her own saved shot in the 42nd minute. Penn State used its video referral on the play and after the review, the play was confirmed.

Less than two minutes later, Luus deflected in a pass from Emma Rissinger to make it a 4-2 lead for Maryland. Rissinger sent the ball in from the left side and Luus deflected it in from just in front of the goal.

In the 59th minute, Maryland was awarded a penalty corner, but after a Penn State defender made contact with Grace Balsdon, the Terps were awarded a stroke. Balsdon took the stroke and buried it, giving the Terrapins a 5-2 lead with 11 minutes to play.

Just over four minutes later, in the 63rd minute, the Nittany Lions scored off a long shot from the edge of the circle by Katie Dembrowski. A minute and a half later, Penn State cut the Terps’ lead to 5-4 when Aurelia Meijer scored off a penalty corner with under seven minutes to play.

Maryland took 13 shots to the Nittany Lions’ nine and had five penalty corners to three. Redshirt junior goalkeeper Sarah Bates made one save in the second half.

Maguire was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week Tuesday for the first time in her career.

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