Behind Donnelly and Greenwalt, No. 2 Terps win convincingly over Richmond, 5-1
The No. 2 ranked Maryland Terrapins kicked off their 2019 season with a stellar offensive and stout defensive performance at home against Richmond.
Coming off a hot season where Maryland finished 22-3 last year and fell just short of the National Championship for a second consecutive year, the Terps wanted to prove to themselves that they could return back to championship contender shape.
Maryland saw the implementation of the new quarter system where instead of the teams playing the customary two 35-minute halves, they instead competed in four 15-minute quarters.
Terps coach Missy Meharg said that the breaks in between the quarters helped calm the team.
With her highly-touted cast of young players, Meharg had the luxury of unlocking the offensive prowess of the group through early scoring opportunities created by sophomores Riley Donnelly, Bibi Donraat, and freshman Emma DeBerdine.
Donnelly, a forward and midfielder, made her presence known early and often in the first. She scored the team’s first goal of the season and the first of her career after she thrust a shot in off a penalty set. The season’s inaugural goal netted the sophomore the season’s first game turtle, awarded to the most outstanding player of the game.
Just a few moments later, at the 9:35 mark of the first, Richmond forward Addie Nash scored the equalizer on a short goal from inside the circle. This would be the Spiders’ only goal of the game as Maryland’s backline remained stout.
Shortly after, co-captain and forward Jen Bleankey, the Terps’ graduate transfer, broke the tie with 7:27 left in the first. She scored on a hard hit from the left into the bottom of the net with an assist from Donraadt.
Early in the second quarter, as penalty shots became frequent for Maryland, junior Bodil Keus scored off an assist from senior forward Madison Maguire out of a penalty set. The veteran defender Keus did not get the start tonight as she nursed a small injury from practice the day before.
In the third, both teams struggled to create any on-goal opportunities as they exchanged turnovers and several misplaced shots, however, the Terps’ tough defense kept their 3-goal lead into the fourth quarter.
Having fully recovered from an ACL tear last year, junior forward Kyler Greenwalt had been itching to return to the pitch. Her teammates and the Spiders’ felt her impact every time she gained a touch, as she scored the games last two goals--both at the end of each half, thus leading her team to the 5-1 opening day win.
When describing the myriad of emotions she experienced being out there, Greenwalt said, "I had all of those emotions. And it's great to have those emotions because I haven't had them in so long."
Maryland will host New Hampshire Wildcats Sunday.