The No. 9 Maryland field hockey team endured a disjointed first penalty corner in its 3-1 win against Indiana on Friday afternoon.
After the Terps tried to create a chance from the top of the 23-meter line, a wayward pass led to an off-target shot from freshman midfielder Kyler Greenwalt. Maryland also missed on a pair of corner opportunities early in the second half.
A changed approach led to a breakthrough.
Instead of shooting from the top of the arc in the 47th minute, the Terps passed to forward Linnea Gonzales, who entered the right side of the scoring zone. She converted a shot into the lower-left corner of the net to give Maryland a one-goal advantage.
Senior midfielder Lein Holsboer added another score in the 53rd minute. Indiana goalkeeper Katie Johnson saved consecutive Terps shots following a corner, but Holsboer ultimately bested her to double the lead.
Maryland (4-2, 1-0 Big Ten) capitalized on its penalty corners and held the Hoosiers, who had scored two goals in three contests against ranked opponents this season, to single-digit shots.
"It took a little while to get into a groove," coach Missy Meharg said. "I'm super proud of the Maryland women for finding a way to get on the board and maintain structure."
Still, Maryland's attack struggled early on, as the Hoosiers (4-3, 0-1) matched the Terps' aggressive press defense for most of the opening period. Despite outshooting Indiana, 5-3, in the first half, the Terps entered the intermission in a scoreless tie.
But in the second period, Maryland altered its play by limiting sloppy passes and turnovers in the midfield.
Meharg said the numerous penalty corner opportunities were the result of Maryland's "quick restarts just outside the circle edge." Defenders Hannah Bond and Brooke DeBerdine moved the ball quickly, enabling the Terps to advance it into the circle and earn the penalty chances.
With the exception of a handful of second-half sequences, the Terps dominated. Indiana defender Elle Hempt scored in the 61st minute to cut the deficit in half, but Maryland's attack responded almost immediately.
Twenty-five seconds after conceding, Holsboer scored her second goal to make it a 3-1 contest.
"Maryland was the better hockey team," Meharg said. "It was really a matter of staying calm and doing well."