The Ohio State field hockey team fell short on Friday at Buckeye Varsity Field, suffering their first Big Ten loss against No. 8 Maryland, 5-2.
OSU (6-4, 2-1) put up a fight from start to finish with freshman midfielder/forward Casey Cole and sophomore forward Maddy Humphrey scoring a goal in each period, but was outmatched by a strong Maryland attack.
Despite the Buckeyes’ valiant defensive effort with six total saves, the Terps (9-3, 4-0) won the game in the second half when Sarah Sprink and Welma Luus scored back-to-back goals.
With only a few moments left in the game, the Buckeyes were unable to climb the ladder and gain the lead before the final buzzer.
Maryland took the first two points within 12 minutes of the first half, with Sprink scoring off a tip-in from a penalty corner 59 seconds in, and Luus collecting off a rebound for a pass in front.
OSU cut into the Terps lead halfway through the period, however, when Cole scored off a fast break with an assist from Humphrey, bringing the score to 2-1.
Maryland rounded off the half by increasing its lead to 3-1 after Emma Rissinger scored with a tip-in shot from Anna Dessoye in the 29th minute.
Senior co-captain Emma Royce said the results may have differed if the Buckeyes had gained momentum in the first half.
“We knew that Maryland’s interchanging and movement was quality. They’re not No. 8 for no reason,” Royce said. “If we had the chance to do it again I think we would have held stronger in those first five minutes.”
Despite the slow first half, OSU came out strong on the field after halftime, with Humphrey scoring off an assist from Royce, her seventh goal of the season — adding up to one for every game.
Halfway through the second period, Maryland pounded out two goals within 45 seconds of each other, giving the Terps a safe 5-2 lead with fewer than 15 minutes left in the game.
OSU coach Anne Wilkinson said her team put up a strong fight despite the challenging game.
“Maryland is very opportunistic and they put away the chances they had end to end, though I think we stayed with them,” Wilkinson said. “We had two great goals, but once they had the two right in a row at the end and gained momentum, they were tough to beat.”
Looking forward for the week and next week’s game, Humphrey said she will look for the team to keep improving as a unit, and working hard until the final horn.
“We need to move forward from this and focus on the Big Ten because it’s not over,” Humphrey said. “We can learn from our mistakes, and just move on and continue to grow.”
The Buckeyes are set to remain at Buckeye Varsity Field for the second game of their four-game home stand on Oct. 9 to face off against Rutgers at 3:30 p.m.