Boston College field hockey started off a Midwestern weekend road trip with a major test as they took on No. 2 ranked Maryland at Northwestern’s Lakeside Field in Evanston, Illinois. Unfortunately, the Terrapins’ potent offense proved too much for BC to keep up with, as they ran away late for a 3-1 victory.
The No. 13 Eagles entered the weekend in search of a turnaround after last Sunday’s grueling overtime loss to Fairfield, and they certainly showed early on that they were up for the challenge of a powerhouse Maryland program. BC’s backline held strong in defense for the majority of the 1st period, relentlessly cutting off passing and shooting lanes and remaining disciplined despite long periods of Maryland possession. The Terrapins would eventually find a crease to get on the board first when the ball was rebounded into the net following a stellar Joanna Kennedy kick save.
The spoilage of what would have been an impressive defensive stand ignited some much-needed energy into the Eagles’ offense before the opening quarter came to a close. BC immediately responded by pushing Maryland’s defense onto their heels to win a penalty corner. The Eagles executed perfectly from the set-piece as Jaime Natale deflected home her first goal of the season, courtesy of Sky Caron and Autumn Littlefield assists, to even the score at one.
In the 2nd quarter, BC’s defense started to show signs of wear against Maryland’s possession-based attack. The Terps patiently worked the ball into some threatening spaces and managed to pick up three penalty corners and force Kennedy into several more saves. The Eagles’ increasingly shaky backline would fail to preserve the tie into the break when a shot ricocheted off a BC defender’s stick into the net.
The Eagle backline continued to reel coming out of halftime with Maryland unleashing yet another flurry of shots on net to start the 3rd period. BC’s offense finally managed to get something going at the end of the period, but two great chances to even the score were thwarted by Maryland’s goalkeeper.
BC continued to press offensively in the final quarter with time winding down, and frustration started to become apparent as Maryland’s backline repeatedly held firm. The aggressive push for a second goal stretched BC’s midfield and defense thin, a disadvantage that the Terrapins gambled on by ramping up attacking pressure of their own. The bold coaching decision would pay off for Maryland as they scored a late dagger against BC’s fatigued defense, and the game would end that way at 3-1.
Following the defeat, Boston College now sits at 1-2 on the season, but should not slide too far from their No. 13 national ranking due to the strength of Maryland as an opponent.
They will look bounce back in another heavyweight Big 10 matchup against Northwestern.